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Sample records for affect plant establishment

  1. Establishing Competence: Qualification of Power Plant Personnel.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Colin R.

    1992-01-01

    Discusses the International Atomic Energy Agency's definition of competence for nuclear power plant operations personnel, how competence can be identified with intellectual, physical, and psychological attributes, how levels of competence are determined, how education, training, and experience establish competence, objectives and costs of training…

  2. Apparent competition with an exotic plant reduces native plant establishment.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Witter, Martha S; Reichman, O J

    2008-04-01

    Biological invasions can change ecosystem function, have tremendous economic costs, and impact human health; understanding the forces that cause and maintain biological invasions is thus of immediate importance. A mechanism by which exotic plants might displace native plants is by increasing the pressure of native consumers on native plants, a form of indirect interaction termed "apparent competition." Using experimental exclosures, seed addition, and monitoring of small mammals in a California grassland, we examined whether exotic Brassica nigra increases the pressure of native consumers on a native bunchgrass, Nassella pulchra. Experimental plots were weeded to focus entirely on indirect effects via consumers. We demonstrate that B. nigra alters the activity of native small-mammal consumers, creating a gradient of consumption that dramatically reduces N. pulchra establishment. Previous work has shown that N. pulchra is a strong competitor, but that it is heavily seed limited. By demonstrating that consumer pressure is sufficient to curtail establishment, our work provides a mechanism for this seed limitation and suggests that, despite being a good competitor, N. pulchra cannot reestablish close to B. nigra within its old habitats because exotic-mediated consumption preempts direct competitive exclusion. Moreover, we find that apparent competition has a spatial extent, suggesting that consumers may dictate the rate of invasion and the area available for restoration, and that nonspatial studies of apparent competition may miss important dynamics.

  3. 48 CFR 245.7202 - Establishing a plant clearance case.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... clearance case. 245.7202 Section 245.7202 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEFENSE ACQUISITION....7202 Establishing a plant clearance case. (a) Upon receipt of an acceptable inventory schedule or a DD Form 1342, DoD Property Record, the plant clearance officer shall establish a plant clearance case...

  4. Starch bioengineering affects cereal grain germination and seedling establishment

    PubMed Central

    Hebelstrup, Kim H.; Blennow, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Cereal grain germination is central for plant early development, and efficient germination has a major role in crop propagation and malting. Endosperm starch is the prime energy reserve in germination and seedling establishment. In this study, it was hypothesized that optimized starch granule structure, and not only the endosperm starch content per se, is important for germination and seedling establishment. For that purpose, wild-type (WT), and specifically engineered degradable hyperphosphorylated (HP) starch and more resistant amylose-only (AO) starch barley lines were used. The transgenics showed no severe phenotypes and the WT and HP lines degraded the starch similarly, having 30% residual starch after 12 d of germination. However, the AO line showed significant resistance to degradation, having 57% residual starch. Interestingly, protein and β-glucan (BG) degradation was stimulated for both HP and AO lines as compared with the WT. At late seedling establishment stages, specific sugars were rapidly consumed in the AO line. α-Amylase activity was distinctly suppressed in both the HP and the AO lines. Pre-germination β-amylase deposition was low in the AO grains and β-amylase was generally suppressed in both HP and AO lines throughout germination. As further supported by scanning electron microscopy and histochemical analyses on grain and seedlings, it was concluded that inadequate starch granule deposition in combination with the suppressed hydrolase activity leads to temporal and compensating re-direction of starch, sugar, and protein catabolism important to maintain metabolic dynamics during grain germination and seedling establishment. PMID:24642850

  5. Earthworm-mycorrhiza interactions can affect the diversity, structure and functioning of establishing model grassland communities.

    PubMed

    Zaller, Johann G; Heigl, Florian; Grabmaier, Andrea; Lichtenegger, Claudia; Piller, Katja; Allabashi, Roza; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Both earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important ecosystem engineers co-occurring in temperate grasslands. However, their combined impacts during grassland establishment are poorly understood and have never been studied. We used large mesocosms to study the effects of different functional groups of earthworms (i.e., vertically burrowing anecics vs. horizontally burrowing endogeics) and a mix of four AMF taxa on the establishment, diversity and productivity of plant communities after a simulated seed rain of 18 grassland species comprising grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Moreover, effects of earthworms and/or AMF on water infiltration and leaching of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were determined after a simulated extreme rainfall event (40 l m(-2)). AMF colonisation of all three plant functional groups was altered by earthworms. Seedling emergence and diversity was reduced by anecic earthworms, however only when AMF were present. Plant density was decreased in AMF-free mesocosms when both anecic and endogeic earthworms were active; with AMF also anecics reduced plant density. Plant shoot and root biomass was only affected by earthworms in AMF-free mesocosms: shoot biomass increased due to the activity of either anecics or endogeics; root biomass increased only when anecics were active. Water infiltration increased when earthworms were present in the mesocosms but remained unaffected by AMF. Ammonium leaching was increased only when anecics or a mixed earthworm community was active but was unaffected by AMF; nitrate and phosphate leaching was neither affected by earthworms nor AMF. Ammonium leaching decreased with increasing plant density, nitrate leaching decreased with increasing plant diversity and density. In order to understand the underlying processes of these interactions further investigations possibly under field conditions using more diverse belowground communities are required. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that

  6. MEDUSAHEAD DISPERSAL AND ESTABLISHMENT IN SAGEBRUSH PLANT COMMUNITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski) is an invasive annual grass that that is rapidly invading sagebrush plant communities. To prevent medusahead invasion land managers need to know 1) when and how far medusahead seeds disperse and 2) its establishment rates and interactions with the...

  7. ADP1 Affects Plant Architecture by Regulating Local Auxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shibai; Qin, Genji; Novák, Ondřej; Pěnčík, Aleš; Ljung, Karin; Aoyama, Takashi; Liu, Jingjing; Murphy, Angus; Gu, Hongya; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Qu, Li-Jia

    2014-01-01

    Plant architecture is one of the key factors that affect plant survival and productivity. Plant body structure is established through the iterative initiation and outgrowth of lateral organs, which are derived from the shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem, after embryogenesis. Here we report that ADP1, a putative MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion) transporter, plays an essential role in regulating lateral organ outgrowth, and thus in maintaining normal architecture of Arabidopsis. Elevated expression levels of ADP1 resulted in accelerated plant growth rate, and increased the numbers of axillary branches and flowers. Our molecular and genetic evidence demonstrated that the phenotypes of plants over-expressing ADP1 were caused by reduction of local auxin levels in the meristematic regions. We further discovered that this reduction was probably due to decreased levels of auxin biosynthesis in the local meristematic regions based on the measured reduction in IAA levels and the gene expression data. Simultaneous inactivation of ADP1 and its three closest homologs led to growth retardation, relative reduction of lateral organ number and slightly elevated auxin level. Our results indicated that ADP1-mediated regulation of the local auxin level in meristematic regions is an essential determinant for plant architecture maintenance by restraining the outgrowth of lateral organs. PMID:24391508

  8. ADP1 affects plant architecture by regulating local auxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruixi; Li, Jieru; Li, Shibai; Qin, Genji; Novák, Ondřej; Pěnčík, Aleš; Ljung, Karin; Aoyama, Takashi; Liu, Jingjing; Murphy, Angus; Gu, Hongya; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Qu, Li-Jia

    2014-01-01

    Plant architecture is one of the key factors that affect plant survival and productivity. Plant body structure is established through the iterative initiation and outgrowth of lateral organs, which are derived from the shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem, after embryogenesis. Here we report that ADP1, a putative MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion) transporter, plays an essential role in regulating lateral organ outgrowth, and thus in maintaining normal architecture of Arabidopsis. Elevated expression levels of ADP1 resulted in accelerated plant growth rate, and increased the numbers of axillary branches and flowers. Our molecular and genetic evidence demonstrated that the phenotypes of plants over-expressing ADP1 were caused by reduction of local auxin levels in the meristematic regions. We further discovered that this reduction was probably due to decreased levels of auxin biosynthesis in the local meristematic regions based on the measured reduction in IAA levels and the gene expression data. Simultaneous inactivation of ADP1 and its three closest homologs led to growth retardation, relative reduction of lateral organ number and slightly elevated auxin level. Our results indicated that ADP1-mediated regulation of the local auxin level in meristematic regions is an essential determinant for plant architecture maintenance by restraining the outgrowth of lateral organs.

  9. Factors affecting spruce establishment and recruitment near western treeline, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, A. E.; Sherriff, R.; Wilson, T. L.

    2015-12-01

    Regional warming and increases in tree growth are contributing to increased productivity near the western forest margin in Alaska. The effects of warming on seedling recruitment has received little attention, in spite of forecasted forest expansion near western treeline. Here, we used stand structure and environmental data from white spruce (Picea glauca) stands (n = 95) sampled across a longitudinal gradient to explore factors influencing white spruce growth, establishment and recruitment in southwest Alaska. Using tree-ring chronologies developed from a subset of the plots (n = 30), we estimated establishment dates and basal area increment (BAI) for trees of all age classes across a range of site conditions. We used GLMs (generalized linear models) to explore the relationship between tree growth and temperature in undisturbed, low elevation sites along the gradient, using BAI averaged over the years 1975-2000. In addition, we examined the relationship between growing degree days (GDD) and seedling establishment over the previous three decades. We used total counts of live seedlings, saplings and live and dead trees, representing four cohorts, to evaluate whether geospatial, climate, and measured plot covariates predicted abundance of the different size classes. We hypothesized that the relationship between abundance and longitude would vary by size class, and that this relationship would be mediated by growing season temperature. We found that mean BAI for trees in undisturbed, low elevation sites increased with July maximum temperature, and that the slope of the relationship with temperature changed with longitude (interaction significant with 90% confidence). White spruce establishment was positively associated with longer summers and/or greater heat accumulation, as inferred from GDD. Seedling, sapling and tree abundance were also positively correlated with temperature across the study area. The response to longitude was mixed, with smaller size classes

  10. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment.

    PubMed

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly; Kostenko, Olga; Van der Putten, Wim H; Macel, Mirka

    2016-02-01

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during this early stage of plant community development. Effects of herbivores on plant biomass depended on plant species or genus but not on plant status (i.e., exotic vs native). Thus, aboveground herbivory did not promote the dominance of exotic plant species during early establishment of the phylogenetically balanced plant communities.

  11. Historic land use influences contemporary establishment of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Mattingly, W Brett; Orrock, John L

    2013-08-01

    The legacy of agricultural land use can have widespread and persistent effects on contemporary landscapes. Although agriculture can lead to persistent changes in soil characteristics and plant communities, it remains unclear whether historic agricultural land use can alter the likelihood of contemporary biological invasions. To understand how agricultural land-use history might interact with well-known drivers of invasion, we conducted factorial manipulations of soil disturbance and resource additions within non-agricultural remnant sites and post-agricultural sites invaded by two non-native Lespedeza species. Our results reveal that variation in invader success can depend on the interplay of historic land use and contemporary processes: for both Lespedeza species, establishment was greater in remnant sites, but soil disturbance enhanced establishment irrespective of land-use history, demonstrating that contemporary processes can help to overcome legacy constraints on invader success. In contrast, additions of resources known to facilitate seedling recruitment (N and water) reduced invader establishment in post-agricultural but not in remnant sites, providing evidence that interactions between historic and contemporary processes can also limit invader success. Our findings thus illustrate that a consideration of historic land use may help to clarify the often contingent responses of invasive plants to known determinants of invasibility. Moreover, in finding significantly greater soil compaction at post-agricultural sites, our study provides a putative mechanism for historic land-use effects on contemporary invasive plant establishment. Our work suggests that an understanding of invasion dynamics requires knowledge of anthropogenic events that often occur decades before the introduction of invasive propagules.

  12. Methods of affecting nitrogen assimilation in plants

    DOEpatents

    Coruzzi, Gloria; Gutierrez, Rodrigo A.; Nero, Damion C.

    2016-10-11

    Provided herein are compositions and methods for producing transgenic plants. In specific embodiments, transgenic plants comprise a construct comprising a polynucleotide encoding CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1, operably linked to a plant-specific promote, wherein the CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 is ectopically overexpressed in the transgenic plants, and wherein the promoter is optionally a constitutive or inducible promoter. In other embodiments, transgenic plants in which express a lower level of CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 are provided. Also provided herein are commercial products (e.g., pulp, paper, paper products, or lumber) derived from the transgenic plants (e.g., transgenic trees) produced using the methods provided herein.

  13. Plant Hormones: How They Affect Root Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinhard, Diana Hereda

    This science study aid, produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, includes a series of plant rooting activities for secondary science classes. The material in the pamphlet is written for students and includes background information on plant hormones, a vocabulary list, and five learning activities. Objectives, needed materials, and…

  14. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    PubMed Central

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes. PMID:27445173

  15. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-07-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes.

  16. Roles, and establishment, maintenance and erasing of the epigenetic cytosine methylation marks in plants.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sushil; Kumari, Renu; Sharma, Vishakha; Sharma, Vinay

    2013-12-01

    Heritable information in plants consists of genomic information in DNA sequence and epigenetic information superimposed on DNA sequence. The latter is in the form of cytosine methylation at CG, CHG and CHH elements (where H = A, T orC) and a variety of histone modifications in nucleosomes. The epialleles arising from cytosine methylation marks on the nuclear genomic loci have better heritability than the epiallelic variation due to chromatin marks. Phenotypic variation is increased manifold by epiallele comprised methylomes. Plants (angiosperms) have highly conserved genetic mechanisms to establish, maintain or erase cytosine methylation from epialleles. The methylation marks in plants fluctuate according to the cell/tissue/organ in the vegetative and reproductive phases of plant life cycle. They also change according to environment. Epialleles arise by gain or loss of cytosine methylation marks on genes. The changes occur due to the imperfection of the processes that establish and maintain the marks and on account of spontaneous and stress imposed removal of marks. Cytosine methylation pattern acquired in response to abiotic or biotic stress is often inherited over one to several subsequent generations.Cytosine methylation marks affect physiological functions of plants via their effect(s) on gene expression levels. They also repress transposable elements that are abundantly present in plant genomes. The density of their distribution along chromosome lengths affects meiotic recombination rate, while their removal increases mutation rate. Transposon activation due to loss of methylation causes rearrangements such that new gene regulatory networks arise and genes for microRNAs may originate. Cytosine methylation dynamics contribute to evolutionary changes. This review presents and discusses the available evidence on origin, removal and roles of cytosine methylation and on related processes, such as RNA directed DNA methylation, imprinting, paramutation and

  17. Identification of miRNAs Affecting the Establishment of Brassica Alboglabra Seedling

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Rongfang; Deng, Yanping; Huang, Zhongkai; Chen, Xiaodong; XuHan, Xu; Lai, Zhongxiong

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important for plant development including seed formation, dormancy, and germination, as well as seedling establishment. The Brassica vegetable seedling establishment stage influences the development of high quality seedlings, but also affects the nutrient content of sprouts. Chinese kale (Brassica alboglabra) seedlings at different growth stages were used to construct two small-RNA (sRNA) libraries. We comprehensively analyzed the miRNAs in 2- and 9-day-old seedlings. An average of 11,722,490 clean reads were generated after removing low-quality reads and adapter contaminants. The results revealed that 37.65 and 26.69% of the sRNAs in 2- and 9-day-old seedlings, respectively, were 24 nt long. In total, 254 known mature miRNA sequences from 228 miRNA families and 343 novel miRNAs were identified. Of these miRNAs, 224 were differentially expressed between the two analyzed libraries. The most abundant miRNAs identified by sequence homology were miR156, miR167, and miR157, each with more than 100,000 sequenced reads. Compared with the expression levels in 2-day-old seedlings, MiR8154 and miR390 were the most up- and down-regulated miRNAs respectively in 9-day-old seedlings. Gene ontology enrichment analysis of the differentially expressed-miRNA target genes affecting biological processes revealed that most genes were in the “regulation of transcription” category. Additionally, the expression patterns of some miRNAs and target genes were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. We determined that development-associated miRNAs (e.g., bal-miR156/157/159/166/167/172/396), were highly-expressed during seedling-establishment stage, as were stress-related (bal-miR408) and metabolism-related (bal-miR826) miRNAs. Combined with the low level of targets SPL9 and AP2, it was concluded that miR156-SPL9 and miR172-AP modules play key roles during the B. alboglabra seedling establishment stage. PMID:28018366

  18. Polarity establishment, morphogenesis, and cultured plant cells in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krikorian, Abraham D.

    1989-01-01

    Plant development entails an orderly progression of cellular events both in terms of time and geometry. There is only circumstantial evidence that, in the controlled environment of the higher plant embryo sac, gravity may play a role in embryo development. It is still not known whether or not normal embryo development and differentiation in higher plants can be expected to take place reliably and efficiently in the micro g space environment. It seems essential that more attention be given to studying aspects of reproductive biology in order to be confident that plants will survive seed to seed to seed in a space environment. Until the time arrives when successive generations of plants can be grown, the best that can be done is utilize the most appropriate systems and begin, piece meal, to accumulate information on important aspects of plant reproduction. Cultured plant cells can play an important role in these activities since they can be grown so as to be morphogenetically competent, and thus can simulate those embryogenic events more usually identified with fertilized eggs in the embryo sac of the ovule in the ovary. Also, they can be manipulated with relative ease. The extreme plasticity of such demonstrably totipotent cell systems provides a means to test environmental effects such as micro g on a potentially free-running entity. The successful manipulation and management of plant cells and propagules in space also has significance for exploitation of biotechnologies in space since such systems, perforce, are an important vehicle whereby many genetic engineering manipulations are achieved.

  19. 76 FR 31171 - Importation of Plants for Planting; Establishing a Category of Plants for Planting Not Authorized...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-27

    ... an appropriate level of protection against the risk associated with imported plants for planting...; (301) 734-0627. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Under the Plant Protection Act (PPA) (7 U.S.C... is consistent with the International Plant Protection Convention's (IPPC) Glossary of...

  20. Ordovician ash geochemistry and the establishment of land plants

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The colonization of the terrestrial environment by land plants transformed the planetary surface and its biota, and shifted the balance of Earth’s biomass from the subsurface towards the surface. However there was a long delay between the formation of palaeosols (soils) on the land surface and the key stage of plant colonization. The record of palaeosols, and their colonization by fungi and lichens extends well back into the Precambrian. While these early soils provided a potential substrate, they were generally leached of nutrients as part of the weathering process. In contrast, volcanic ash falls provide a geochemically favourable substrate that is both nutrient-rich and has high water retention, making them good hosts to land plants. An anomalously extensive system of volcanic arcs generated unprecedented volumes of lava and volcanic ash (tuff) during the Ordovician. The earliest, mid-Ordovician, records of plant spores coincide with these widespread volcanic deposits, suggesting the possibility of a genetic relationship. The ash constituted a global environment of nutrient-laden, water-saturated soil that could be exploited to maximum advantage by the evolving anchoring systems of land plants. The rapid and pervasive inoculation of modern volcanic ash by plant spores, and symbiotic nitrogen-fixing fungi, suggests that the Ordovician ash must have received a substantial load of the earliest spores and their chemistry favoured plant development. In particular, high phosphorus levels in ash were favourable to plant growth. This may have allowed photosynthesizers to diversify and enlarge, and transform the surface of the planet. PMID:22925460

  1. 78 FR 68020 - Evaluation of Established Plant Pests for Action at Ports of Entry

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-13

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Evaluation of Established Plant Pests for Action at Ports of Entry AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: We are advising... the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Pursuant to the PPA,...

  2. Habitats as Complex Odour Environments: How Does Plant Diversity Affect Herbivore and Parasitoid Orientation?

    PubMed Central

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  3. Host plant species affects virulence in monarch butterfly parasites.

    PubMed

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Pedersen, Amy B; Hunter, Mark D; Altizer, Sonia

    2008-01-01

    1. Studies have considered how intrinsic host and parasite properties determine parasite virulence, but have largely ignored the role of extrinsic ecological factors in its expression. 2. We studied how parasite genotype and host plant species interact to determine virulence of the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (McLaughlin & Myers 1970) in the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus L. We infected monarch larvae with one of four parasite genotypes and reared them on two milkweed species that differed in their levels of cardenolides: toxic chemicals involved in predator defence. 3. Parasite infection, replication and virulence were affected strongly by host plant species. While uninfected monarchs lived equally long on both plant species, infected monarchs suffered a greater reduction in their life spans (55% vs. 30%) on the low-cardenolide vs. the high-cardenolide host plant. These life span differences resulted from different levels of parasite replication in monarchs reared on the two plant species. 4. The virulence rank order of parasite genotypes was unaffected by host plant species, suggesting that host plant species affected parasite genotypes similarly, rather than through complex plant species-parasite genotype interactions. 5. Our results demonstrate that host ecology importantly affects parasite virulence, with implications for host-parasite dynamics in natural populations.

  4. Decomposers (Lumbricidae, Collembola) affect plant performance in model grasslands of different diversity.

    PubMed

    Partsch, Stephan; Milcu, Alexandru; Scheu, Stefan

    2006-10-01

    Decomposer invertebrates influence soil structure and nutrient mineralization as well as the activity and composition of the microbial community in soil and therefore likely affect plant performance and plant competition. We established model grassland communities in a greenhouse to study the interrelationship between two different functional groups of decomposer invertebrates, Lumbricidae and Collembola, and their effect on plant performance and plant nitrogen uptake in a plant diversity gradient. Common plant species of Central European Arrhenatherion grasslands were transplanted into microcosms with numbers of plant species varying from one to eight and plant functional groups varying from one to four. Separate and combined treatments with earthworms and collembolans were set up. Microcosms contained 15N labeled litter to track N fluxes into plant shoots. Presence of decomposers strongly increased total plant and plant shoot biomass. Root biomass decreased in the presence of collembolans and even more in the presence of earthworms. However, it increased when both animal groups were present. Also, presence of decomposers increased total N concentration and 15N enrichment of grasses, legumes, and small herbs. Small herbs were at a maximum in the combined treatment with earthworms and collembolans. The impact of earthworms and collembolans on plant performance strongly varied with plant functional group identity and plant species diversity and was modified when both decomposers were present. Both decomposer groups generally increased aboveground plant productivity through effects on litter decomposition and nutrient mineralization leading to an increased plant nutrient acquisition. The non-uniform effects of earthworms and collembolans suggest that functional diversity of soil decomposer animals matters and that the interactions between soil animal functional groups affect the structure of plant communities.

  5. Maize Phenology Affects Establishment, Damage, and Development of the Western Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera:Chrysomelidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of maize (Zea mays L.) phenology on establishment and adult emergence of the western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte) as well as plant damage to maize was evaluated in the greenhouse and in field trials in 2001 and 2002. Although neonate western corn rootworm larva...

  6. Update to the Propagation and Establishment of Aquatic Plants Handbook

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-01

    Propagule Production 13 Aphids and caterpillars can reach nuisance proportions in tank cultures, and may require control by spraying with water ( aphids ...susceptible to aphid infestation. Snails can be a problem at high densities. Field Planting Propagule Mature potted transplants Season Early spring...start with a minimum of 12 weeks required to produce mature transplants. Topped out leaves are susceptible to aphid infestation. Snails can be a problem

  7. Grazing Intensity Does Not Affect Plant Diversity in Shortgrass Steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Responses of livestock gain and forage production to grazing intensity in shortgrass steppe are well-established, but effects on basal cover and plant diversity are less so. A long-term grazing intensity study was initiated on shortgrass steppe at the Central Plains Experimental Range (USDA-Agricult...

  8. The role of plant-microbiome interactions in weed establishment and control.

    PubMed

    Trognitz, Friederike; Hackl, Evelyn; Widhalm, Siegrid; Sessitsch, Angela

    2016-10-01

    The soil microbiome plays an important role in the establishment of weeds and invasive plants. They associate with microorganisms supporting their growth and health. Weed management strategies, like tillage and herbicide treatments, to control weeds generally alter soil structure going alongside with changes in the microbial community. Once a weed population establishes in the field, the plants build up a close relationship with the available microorganisms. Seeds or vegetative organs overwinter in soil and select early in the season their own microbiome before crop plants start to vegetate. Weed and crop plants compete for light, nutrition and water, but may differently interact with soil microorganisms. The development of new sequencing technologies for analyzing soil microbiomes has opened up the possibility for in depth analysis of the interaction between 'undesired' plants and crop plants under different management systems. These findings will help us to understand the functions of microorganisms involved in crop productivity and plant health, weed establishment and weed prevention. Exploitation of the knowledge offers the possibility to search for new biocontrol methods against weeds based on soil and plant-associated microorganisms. This review discusses the recent advances in understanding the functions of microbial communities for weed/invasive plant establishment and shows new ways to use plant-associated microorganisms to control weeds and invasive plants in different land management systems.

  9. Plant water use efficiency over geological time--evolution of leaf stomata configurations affecting plant gas exchange.

    PubMed

    Assouline, Shmuel; Or, Dani

    2013-01-01

    Plant gas exchange is a key process shaping global hydrological and carbon cycles and is often characterized by plant water use efficiency (WUE - the ratio of CO2 gain to water vapor loss). Plant fossil record suggests that plant adaptation to changing atmospheric CO2 involved correlated evolution of stomata density (d) and size (s), and related maximal aperture, amax . We interpreted the fossil record of s and d correlated evolution during the Phanerozoic to quantify impacts on gas conductance affecting plant transpiration, E, and CO2 uptake, A, independently, and consequently, on plant WUE. A shift in stomata configuration from large s-low d to small s-high d in response to decreasing atmospheric CO2 resulted in large changes in plant gas exchange characteristics. The relationships between gas conductance, gws , A and E and maximal relative transpiring leaf area, (amax ⋅d), exhibited hysteretic-like behavior. The new WUE trend derived from independent estimates of A and E differs from established WUE-CO2 trends for atmospheric CO2 concentrations exceeding 1,200 ppm. In contrast with a nearly-linear decrease in WUE with decreasing CO2 obtained by standard methods, the newly estimated WUE trend exhibits remarkably stable values for an extended geologic period during which atmospheric CO2 dropped from 3,500 to 1,200 ppm. Pending additional tests, the findings may affect projected impacts of increased atmospheric CO2 on components of the global hydrological cycle.

  10. Strategic rehabilitation of the earthquake affected microhydropower plants in Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baidar, B.; Koirala, R.; Neopane, H. P.; Shrestha, M. V.; Thapa, B.

    2016-11-01

    Most people in the rural areas of Nepal rely on Micro-hydro Power Plants (MHPs) for their energy sources. With around four decade experiences in design and development of MHPs, Nepalese techno-entrepreneurs have gained wider reputation in the South Asian region and the beyond. However with the lack of competences in developing Francis turbines, majority of the MHPs are equipped with either Pelton of Cross Flow turbine, even though Francis units are suitable. With the devastating earthquake of a 7.6 magnitude that struck in the Gorkha district on Saturday, 25 April 2015, about 76 km northwest of the capital city Kathmandu, and the aftershocks followed claimed more than 8000 lives. It did not leave hydropower plants either. Many big plants have been affected and hundreds of MHPs were damaged, needing short to long term rehabilitation. The preliminary assessment of the 61 affected MHPs in the 6 earthquake affected districts shows more than 50% sites are suitable for Francis turbine. Hence the strategic rehabilitation plan has been developed in the present paper for the affected plants considering issues like geographical shift, dislocation of people and also with the focus on replacing the old turbine with Francis turbine in the suitable sites. The similar strategy can also be implemented in other developing countries with such situations.

  11. Plant-fungus mutualism affects spider composition in successional fields.

    PubMed

    Finkes, Laura K; Cady, Alan B; Mulroy, Juliana C; Clay, Keith; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2006-03-01

    Mutualistic symbionts are widespread in plants and may have strong, bottom-up influences on community structure. Here we show that a grass-endophyte mutualism shifts the composition of a generalist predator assemblage. In replicated, successional fields we manipulated endophyte infection by Neotyphodium coenophialum in a dominant, non-native plant (Lolium arundinaceum). We compared the magnitude of the endophyte effect with manipulations of thatch biomass, a habitat feature of known importance to spiders. The richness of both spider families and morphospecies was greater in the absence of the endophyte, although total spider abundance was not affected. Thatch removal reduced both spider abundance and richness, and endophyte and thatch effects were largely additive. Spider families differed in responses, with declines in Linyphiidae and Thomisidae due to the endophyte and declines in Lycosidae due to thatch removal. Results demonstrate that the community impacts of non-native plants can depend on plants' mutualistic associates, such as fungal endophytes.

  12. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes.

    SciTech Connect

    Tewksbury, Joshua, J.; Levey, Douglas, J.; Haddad, Nick, M.; Sargent, Sarah; Orrock, John, L.; Weldon, Aimee; Danielson, Brent, J.; Brinkerhoff, Jory; Damschen, Ellen, I.; Townsend, Patricia

    2002-10-01

    Tewksbury, J.J., D.J. Levey, N.M. Haddad, S. Sargent, J.L. Orrock, A. Weldon, B.J. Danielson, J. Brinkerhoff, E.I. Damschen, and P. Townsend. 2002. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes. PNAS 99(20):12923-12926. Among the most popular strategies for maintaining populations of both plants and animals in fragmented landscapes is to connect isolated patches with thin strips of habitat, called corridors. Corridors are thought to increase the exchange of individuals between habitat patches, promoting genetic exchange and reducing population fluctuations. Empirical studies addressing the effects of corridors have either been small in scale or have ignored confounding effects of increased habitat area created by the presence of a corridor. These methodological difficulties, coupled with a paucity of studies examining the effects of corridors on plants and plant-animal interactions, have sparked debate over the purported value of corridors in conservation planning. We report results of a large-scale experiment that directly address this debate. We demonstrate that corridors not only increase the exchange of animals between patches, but also facilitate two key plant-animal interactions: pollination and seed dispersal. Our results show that the beneficial effects of corridors extend beyond the area they add, and suggest that increased plant and animal movement through corridors will have positive impacts on plant populations and community interactions in fragmented landscapes.

  13. Zinc stress affects ionome and metabolome in tea plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yinfei; Wang, Yu; Ding, Zhaotang; Wang, Hui; Song, Lubin; Jia, Sisi; Ma, Dexin

    2017-02-01

    The research of physiological responses to Zn stress in plants has been extensively studied. However, the ionomics and metabolomics responses of plants to Zn stress remain largely unknown. In present study, the nutrient elements were identified involved in ion homeostasis and metabolomics changes related to Zn deficiency or excess in tea plants. Nutrient element analysis demonstrated that the concentrations of Zn affected the ion-uptake in roots and the nutrient element transportation to leaves, leading to the different distribution of P, S, Al, Ca, Fe and Cu in the tea leaves or roots. Metabolomics analysis revealed that Zn deficiency or excess differentially influenced the metabolic pathways in the tea leaves. More specifically, Zn deficiency affected the metabolism of carbohydrates, and Zn excess affected flavonoids metabolism. Additionally, the results showed that both Zn deficiency and Zn excess led to reduced nicotinamide levels, which speeded up NAD(+) degradation and thus reduced energy metabolism. Furthermore, element-metabolite correlation analysis illustrated that Zn contents in the tea leaves were positively correlated with organic acids, nitrogenous metabolites and some carbohydrate metabolites, and negatively correlated with the metabolites involved in secondary metabolism and some other carbohydrate metabolites. Meanwhile, metabolite-metabolite correlation analysis demonstrated that organic acids, sugars, amino acids and flavonoids played dominant roles in the regulation of the tea leaf metabolism under Zn stress. Therefore, the conclusion should be drawn that the tea plants responded to Zn stress by coordinating ion-uptake and regulation of metabolism of carbohydrates, nitrogenous metabolites, and flavonoids.

  14. Fuel breaks affect nonnative species abundance in Californian plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriam, K.E.; Keeley, J.E.; Beyers, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment programs throughout the United States to reduce the threat of wildland fire. Our study included 24 fuel breaks located across the State of California. We found that nonnative plant abundance was over 200% higher on fuel breaks than in adjacent wildland areas. Relative nonnative cover was greater on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers (28%) than on fuel breaks constructed by other methods (7%). Canopy cover, litter cover, and duff depth also were significantly lower on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers, and these fuel breaks had significantly more exposed bare ground than other types of fuel breaks. There was a significant decline in relative nonnative cover with increasing distance from the fuel break, particularly in areas that had experienced more numerous fires during the past 50 years, and in areas that had been grazed. These data suggest that fuel breaks could provide establishment sites for nonnative plants, and that nonnatives may invade surrounding areas, especially after disturbances such as fire or grazing. Fuel break construction and maintenance methods that leave some overstory canopy and minimize exposure of bare ground may be less likely to promote nonnative plants. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Remediation and restoration of contaminated soils for plant growth and establishment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Vanessa

    2014-05-01

    Degradation and contamination of soils is a serious issue, affecting soil and water quality, human health, and plant health and productivity. Degradation of soils can result in the mobilisation of high concentrations of trace metals as a function of both anthropogenic activities which can also be exacerbated by natural processes. Sulfidic sediments frequently underlie coastal floodplains globally. Oxidation of sulfidic sediments can result in the formation of acid sulfate soils and acidification and mobilisation of associated trace metals in soils, sediments and water. The geochemical processes which occur in these environments can be similar to those in acid mine drainage environments. For example, oxidation of sulfides following surface mining for coal can also result in low pH and high concentrations of trace metals in waste material. Remediation and restoration of such sites for plant growth and establishment can be challenging due to the geochemical characteristics of the soils and sediments. Remediation of oxidised sulfidic sediments on coastal floodplains and mine sites both require an increase in soil pH via incorporation of alkaline materials, and addition of nutrients via organic amendments. This paper presents the findings from two case studies on the remediation of contaminated acidic environments on i) a coastal floodplain, and ii) a coal mine site. We found that addition of lime and organic material increased pH and decreased trace metal concentrations in the coastal floodplain sediments. Organic carbon increased due to the incorporation of additional organic material and increased plant growth. Similarly, pH decreased and trace metal concentrations in leachate also decreased following additions of alkaline wood chip waste and compost in the mine site rehabilitation trials. Plant growth increased with increasing volumes of compost addition. These results, and those presented in SSS8.3 highlight the importance of appropriate ameliorants in the

  16. Propagule Pressure, Habitat Conditions and Clonal Integration Influence the Establishment and Growth of an Invasive Clonal Plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides.

    PubMed

    You, Wen-Hua; Han, Cui-Min; Fang, Long-Xiang; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, spreading mainly by vegetative propagules. Propagule pressure (the number of propagules) may affect the establishment, growth, and thus invasion success of these clonal plants, and such effects may also depend on habitat conditions. To understand how propagule pressure, habitat conditions and clonal integration affect the establishment and growth of the invasive clonal plants, an 8-week greenhouse with an invasive clonal plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides was conducted. High (five fragments) or low (one fragment) propagule pressure was established either in bare soil (open habitat) or dense native vegetation of Jussiaea repens (vegetative habitat), with the stolon connections either severed from or connected to the relatively older ramets. High propagule pressure greatly increased the establishment and growth of A. philoxeroides, especially when it grew in vegetative habitats. Surprisingly, high propagule pressure significantly reduced the growth of individual plants of A. philoxeroides in open habitats, whereas it did not affect the individual growth in vegetative habitats. A shift in the intraspecific interaction on A. philoxeroides from competition in open habitats to facilitation in vegetative habitats may be the main reason. Moreover, clonal integration significantly improved the growth of A. philoxeroides only in open habitats, especially with low propagule pressure, whereas it had no effects on the growth and competitive ability of A. philoxeroides in vegetative habitats, suggesting that clonal integration may be of most important for A. philoxeroides to explore new open space and spread. These findings suggest that propagule pressure may be crucial for the invasion success of A. philoxeroides, and such an effect also depends on habitat conditions.

  17. Propagule Pressure, Habitat Conditions and Clonal Integration Influence the Establishment and Growth of an Invasive Clonal Plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides

    PubMed Central

    You, Wen-Hua; Han, Cui-Min; Fang, Long-Xiang; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, spreading mainly by vegetative propagules. Propagule pressure (the number of propagules) may affect the establishment, growth, and thus invasion success of these clonal plants, and such effects may also depend on habitat conditions. To understand how propagule pressure, habitat conditions and clonal integration affect the establishment and growth of the invasive clonal plants, an 8-week greenhouse with an invasive clonal plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides was conducted. High (five fragments) or low (one fragment) propagule pressure was established either in bare soil (open habitat) or dense native vegetation of Jussiaea repens (vegetative habitat), with the stolon connections either severed from or connected to the relatively older ramets. High propagule pressure greatly increased the establishment and growth of A. philoxeroides, especially when it grew in vegetative habitats. Surprisingly, high propagule pressure significantly reduced the growth of individual plants of A. philoxeroides in open habitats, whereas it did not affect the individual growth in vegetative habitats. A shift in the intraspecific interaction on A. philoxeroides from competition in open habitats to facilitation in vegetative habitats may be the main reason. Moreover, clonal integration significantly improved the growth of A. philoxeroides only in open habitats, especially with low propagule pressure, whereas it had no effects on the growth and competitive ability of A. philoxeroides in vegetative habitats, suggesting that clonal integration may be of most important for A. philoxeroides to explore new open space and spread. These findings suggest that propagule pressure may be crucial for the invasion success of A. philoxeroides, and such an effect also depends on habitat conditions. PMID:27200041

  18. Factors affecting establishment success of the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Meléndez-Ackerman, Elvia

    2012-06-01

    Early plant stages may be the most vulnerable within the life cycle of plants especially in arid ecosystems. Interference from exotic species may exacerbate this condition. We evaluated germination, seedling survival and growth in the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis, as a function of sunlight exposure (i.e., growing under open and shaded areas), different shade providers (i.e., growing under two native shrubs and one exotic grass species), two levels of predation (i.e., exclusion and non-exclusion) and variable microenvironmental conditions (i.e., temperature, PAR, humidity). Field experiments demonstrated that suitable conditions for germination and establishment of H. portoricensis seedling are optimal in shaded areas beneath the canopy of established species, but experiments also demonstrated that the identity of the shade provider can have a significant influence on the outcome of these processes. Harrisia portoricensis seedlings had higher probabilities of survival and grew better (i.e., larger diameters) when they were transplanted beneath the canopy of native shrubs, than beneath the exotic grass species, where temperature and solar radiation values were on average much higher than those obtained under the canopies of native shrubs. We also detected that exclusion from potential predators did not increase seedling survival. Our combined results for H. portoricensis suggested that the modification of microenvironmental conditions by the exotic grass may lower the probability of recruitment and establishment of this endangered cactus species.

  19. Crop size, plant aggregation, and microhabitat type affect fruit removal by birds from individual melastome plants in the Upper Amazon.

    PubMed

    Blendinger, Pedro G; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G

    2008-11-01

    We studied the efficiency (proportion of the crop removed) and quantitative effectiveness (number of fruits removed) of dispersal of Miconia fosteri and M. serrulata (Melastomataceae) seeds by birds in lowland tropical wet forest of Ecuador. Specifically, we examined variation in fruit removal in order to reveal the spatial scale at which crop size influences seed dispersal outcome of individual plants, and to evaluate how the effect of crop size on plant dispersal success may be affected by conspecific fruit abundance and by the spatial distribution of frugivore abundance. We established two 9-ha plots in undisturbed terra-firme understory, where six manakin species (Pipridae) disperse most seeds of these two plant species. Mean levels of fruit removal were low for both species, with high variability among plants. In general, plants with larger crop sizes experienced greater efficiency and effectiveness of fruit removal than plants with smaller crops. Fruit removal, however, was also influenced by microhabitat, such as local topography and local neighborhood. Fruit-rich and disperser-rich patches overlapped spatially for M. fosteri but not M. serrulata, nonetheless fruit removal of M. serrulata was still much greater in fruit-rich patches. Fruit removal from individual plants did not decrease in patches with many fruiting conspecifics and, in fact, removal effectiveness was enhanced for M. fosteri with small crop sizes when such plants were in patches with more conspecifics. These results suggest that benefits of attracting dispersers to a patch balanced or outweighed the costs of competition for dispersers. Spatial pattern of fruit removal, a measure of plant fitness, depended on a complex interaction among plant traits, spatial patterns of plant distribution, and disperser behavior.

  20. Does iodine biofortification affect oxidative metabolism in lettuce plants?

    PubMed

    Blasco, Begoña; Ríos, Juan Jose; Leyva, Rocío; Cervilla, Luis Miguel; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Eva; Rubio-Wilhelmi, María Mar; Rosales, Miguel Angel; Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Romero, Luis

    2011-09-01

    Plants produce low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which form part of basic cell chemical communication; however, different types of stress can lead to an overexpression of ROS that can damage macromolecules essential for plant growth and development. Iodine is vital to human health, and iodine biofortification programs help improve the human intake through plant consumption. This biofortification process has been shown to influence the antioxidant capacity of lettuce plants, suggesting that the oxidative metabolism of the plant may be affected. The results of this study demonstrate that the response to oxidative stress is variable and depends on the form of iodine applied. Application of iodide (I(-)) to lettuce plants produces a reduction in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and an increase in catalase (CAT) and L-galactono dehydrogenase enzyme activities and in the activity of antioxidant compounds such as ascorbate (AA) and glutathione. This did not prove a very effective approach since a dose of 80 μM produced a reduction in the biomass of the plants. For its part, application of iodate (IO (3) (-) ) produced an increase in the activities of SOD, ascorbate peroxidase, and CAT, the main enzymes involved in ROS detoxification; it also increased the concentration of AA and the regenerative activities of the Halliwell-Asada cycle. These data confirm the non-phytotoxicity of IO (3) (-) since there is no lipid peroxidation or biomass reduction. According to our results, the ability of IO (3) (-) to induce the antioxidant system indicates that application of this form of iodine may be an effective strategy to improve the response of plants to different types of stress.

  1. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability.

  2. Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities.

    PubMed

    Wright, Alexandra J; de Kroon, Hans; Visser, Eric J W; Buchmann, Tina; Ebeling, Anne; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Christine; Hildebrandt, Anke; Ravenek, Janneke; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; Mommer, Liesje

    2017-01-01

    Flooding is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future. The ecological consequences of flooding are the combined result of species-specific plant traits and ecological context. However, the majority of past flooding research has focused on individual model species under highly controlled conditions. An early summer flooding event in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Jena, Germany, provided the opportunity to assess flooding responses of 60 grassland species in monocultures and 16-species mixtures. We examined plant biomass, species-specific traits (plant height, specific leaf area (SLA), root aerenchyma, starch content) and soil porosity. We found that, on average, plant species were less negatively affected by the flood when grown in higher-diversity plots in July 2013. By September 2013, grasses were unaffected by the flood regardless of plant diversity, and legumes were severely negatively affected regardless of plant diversity. Plants with greater SLA and more root aerenchyma performed better in September. Soil porosity was higher in higher-diversity plots and had a positive effect on plant performance. As floods become more frequent and severe in the future, growing flood-sensitive plants in higher-diversity communities and in soil with greater soil aeration may attenuate the most negative effects of flooding.

  3. Ionizing radiation from Chernobyl affects development of wild carrot plants

    PubMed Central

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Arias, Javi Miranda; Garcia, Cristina; Mappes, Tapio; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Møller, Anders P.; Pajares, Antonio Jesús Muñoz; Piwczyński, Marcin; Tukalenko, Eugene

    2016-01-01

    Radioactivity released from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima is a global hazard and a threat to exposed biota. To minimize the deleterious effects of stressors organisms adopt various strategies. Plants, for example, may delay germination or stay dormant during stressful periods. However, an intense stress may halt germination or heavily affect various developmental stages and select for life history changes. Here, we test for the consequence of exposure to ionizing radiation on plant development. We conducted a common garden experiment in an uncontaminated greenhouse using 660 seeds originating from 33 wild carrots (Daucus carota) collected near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. These maternal plants had been exposed to radiation levels that varied by three orders of magnitude. We found strong negative effects of elevated radiation on the timing and rates of seed germination. In addition, later stages of development and the timing of emergence of consecutive leaves were delayed by exposure to radiation. We hypothesize that low quality of resources stored in seeds, damaged DNA, or both, delayed development and halted germination of seeds from plants exposed to elevated levels of ionizing radiation. We propose that high levels of spatial heterogeneity in background radiation may hamper adaptive life history responses. PMID:27982121

  4. Ionizing radiation from Chernobyl affects development of wild carrot plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Arias, Javi Miranda; Garcia, Cristina; Mappes, Tapio; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Møller, Anders P.; Pajares, Antonio Jesús Muñoz; Piwczyński, Marcin; Tukalenko, Eugene

    2016-12-01

    Radioactivity released from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima is a global hazard and a threat to exposed biota. To minimize the deleterious effects of stressors organisms adopt various strategies. Plants, for example, may delay germination or stay dormant during stressful periods. However, an intense stress may halt germination or heavily affect various developmental stages and select for life history changes. Here, we test for the consequence of exposure to ionizing radiation on plant development. We conducted a common garden experiment in an uncontaminated greenhouse using 660 seeds originating from 33 wild carrots (Daucus carota) collected near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. These maternal plants had been exposed to radiation levels that varied by three orders of magnitude. We found strong negative effects of elevated radiation on the timing and rates of seed germination. In addition, later stages of development and the timing of emergence of consecutive leaves were delayed by exposure to radiation. We hypothesize that low quality of resources stored in seeds, damaged DNA, or both, delayed development and halted germination of seeds from plants exposed to elevated levels of ionizing radiation. We propose that high levels of spatial heterogeneity in background radiation may hamper adaptive life history responses.

  5. Marker gene tethering by nucleoporins affects gene expression in plants.

    PubMed

    Smith, Sarah; Galinha, Carla; Desset, Sophie; Tolmie, Frances; Evans, David; Tatout, Christophe; Graumann, Katja

    2015-01-01

    In non-plant systems, chromatin association with the nuclear periphery affects gene expression, where interactions with nuclear envelope proteins can repress and interactions with nucleoporins can enhance transcription. In plants, both hetero- and euchromatin can localize at the nuclear periphery, but the effect of proximity to the nuclear periphery on gene expression remains largely unknown. This study explores the putative function of Seh1 and Nup50a nucleoporins on gene expression by using the Lac Operator / Lac Repressor (LacI-LacO) system adapted to Arabidopsis thaliana. We used LacO fused to the luciferase reporter gene (LacO:Luc) to investigate whether binding of the LacO:Luc transgene to nucleoporin:LacI protein fusions alters luciferase expression. Two separate nucleoporin-LacI-YFP fusions were introduced into single insert, homozygous LacO:Luc Arabidopsis plants. Homozygous plants carrying LacO:Luc and a single insert of either Seh1-LacI-YFP or Nup50a-LacI-YFP were tested for luciferase activity and compared to plants containing LacO:Luc only. Seh1-LacI-YFP increased, while Nup50a-LacI-YFP decreased luciferase activity. Seh1-LacI-YFP accumulated at the nuclear periphery as expected, while Nup50a-LacI-YFP was nucleoplasmic and was not selected for further study. Protein and RNA levels of luciferase were quantified by western blotting and RT-qPCR, respectively. Increased luciferase activity in LacO:Luc+Seh1-LacI-YFP plants was correlated with increased luciferase protein and RNA levels. This change of luciferase expression was abolished by disruption of LacI-LacO binding by treating with IPTG in young seedlings, rosette leaves and inflorescences. This study suggests that association with the nuclear periphery is involved in the regulation of gene expression in plants.

  6. A tool to assess potential for alien plant establishment and expansion under climate change.

    PubMed

    Roger, Erin; Duursma, Daisy Englert; Downey, Paul O; Gallagher, Rachael V; Hughes, Lesley; Steel, Jackie; Johnson, Stephen B; Leishman, Michelle R

    2015-08-15

    Predicting the influence of climate change on the potential distribution of naturalised alien plant species is an important and challenging task. While prioritisation of management actions for alien plants under current climatic conditions has been widely adopted, very few systems explicitly incorporate the potential of future changes in climate conditions to influence the distribution of alien plant species. Here, we develop an Australia-wide screening tool to assess the potential of naturalised alien plants to establish and spread under both current and future climatic conditions. The screening tool developed uses five spatially explicit criteria to establish the likelihood of alien plant population establishment and expansion under baseline climate conditions and future climates for the decades 2035 and 2065. Alien plants are then given a threat rating according to current and future threat to enable natural resource managers to focus on those species that pose the largest potential threat now and in the future. To demonstrate the screening tool, we present results for a representative sample of approximately 10% (n = 292) of Australia's known, naturalised alien plant species. Overall, most alien plant species showed decreases in area of habitat suitability under future conditions compared to current conditions and therefore the threat rating of most alien plant species declined between current and future conditions. Use of the screening tool is intended to assist natural resource managers in assessing the threat of alien plant establishment and spread under current and future conditions and thus prioritise detailed weed risk assessments for those species that pose the greatest threat. The screening tool is associated with a searchable database for all 292 alien plant species across a range of spatial scales, available through an interactive web-based portal at http://weedfutures.net/.

  7. The establishment of the infant intestinal microbiome is not affected by rotavirus vaccination

    PubMed Central

    Ang, Li; Arboleya, Silvia; Lihua, Guo; Chuihui, Yuan; Nan, Qin; Suarez, Marta; Solís, Gonzalo; de los Reyes-Gavilán, Clara G.; Gueimonde, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    The microbial colonization of the intestine during the first months of life constitutes the most important process for the microbiota-induced host-homeostasis. Alterations in this process may entail a high-risk for disease in later life. However, the potential factors affecting this process in the infant are not well known. Moreover, the potential impact of orally administered vaccines upon the establishing microbiome remains unknown. Here we assessed the intestinal microbiome establishment process and evaluated the impact of rotavirus vaccination upon this process. Metagenomic, PCR-DGGE and faecal short chain fatty acids analyses were performed on faecal samples obtained from three infants before and after the administration of each dose of vaccine. We found a high inter-individual variability in the early life gut microbiota at microbial composition level, but a large similarity between the infants' microbiomes at functional level. Rotavirus vaccination did not show any major effects upon the infant gut microbiota. Thus, the individual microbiome establishment and development process seems to occur in a defined manner during the first stages of life and rotavirus vaccination appears to be inconsequential for this process. PMID:25491920

  8. To mulch or not to mulch? Effects of gravel mulch toppings on plant establishment and development in ornamental prairie plantings.

    PubMed

    Schmithals, Anja; Kühn, Norbert

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, North American prairie vegetation has served as a design model for highly attractive, low-cost and low-maintenance plantings in German urban green spaces. Where mixed-planting techniques, gravel mulch toppings and non-selective maintenance techniques such as mowing are used, prairie plantings are considered to be cost-effective alternative design concepts for public green space management. In this study, we investigated the establishment success of different mixtures of prairie species plantings on two sites with different soil conditions: topsoil and topsoil with graywacke gravel topping. We documented significantly higher average mortality rates on gravel mulch sites in the first year after establishment. Further development of mortality was not significantly different between sites. Weed species were always more numerous on topsoil sites and had an obvious effect on the visual impact of the plantings. The mulch created an effective barrier for wind-dispersed germinators. Soil temperatures down to 30 cm were significantly higher on gravel mulch sites throughout the year, stimulating more vital plant growth and a prolonged growing season. Our results emphasize the importance of considering these kinds of practical issues during the planning process as they are critical to the success or failure of the design.

  9. To mulch or not to mulch? Effects of gravel mulch toppings on plant establishment and development in ornamental prairie plantings

    PubMed Central

    Kühn, Norbert

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, North American prairie vegetation has served as a design model for highly attractive, low-cost and low-maintenance plantings in German urban green spaces. Where mixed-planting techniques, gravel mulch toppings and non-selective maintenance techniques such as mowing are used, prairie plantings are considered to be cost-effective alternative design concepts for public green space management. In this study, we investigated the establishment success of different mixtures of prairie species plantings on two sites with different soil conditions: topsoil and topsoil with graywacke gravel topping. We documented significantly higher average mortality rates on gravel mulch sites in the first year after establishment. Further development of mortality was not significantly different between sites. Weed species were always more numerous on topsoil sites and had an obvious effect on the visual impact of the plantings. The mulch created an effective barrier for wind-dispersed germinators. Soil temperatures down to 30 cm were significantly higher on gravel mulch sites throughout the year, stimulating more vital plant growth and a prolonged growing season. Our results emphasize the importance of considering these kinds of practical issues during the planning process as they are critical to the success or failure of the design. PMID:28166269

  10. Factors affecting intestinal absorption of cholesterol and plant sterols and stanols.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Ikuo

    2015-01-01

    Various factors affect intestinal absorption of cholesterol and plant sterols and stanols. Plant sterols and stanols are generally less absorptive than cholesterol. Differential absorption rates among various plant sterols and stanols have been also reported. Although it was suggested that differential absorption among cholesterol and various plant sterols was determined by difference in excretion rates of sterols and stanols through ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABC) G5/ABCG8 of intestinal cells, our study suggests that affinity for and solubility in bile salt micelles can be important determinants for differential absorption of plant sterols and stanols. It was also suggested that plant sterols were transiently incorporated into intestinal cells and then excreted to intestinal lumen through ABCG5/ABCG8. However, in a rat study, transient incorporation of sitosterol into intestinal cells was not observed, suggesting that sitosterol is differentiated from cholesterol at the incorporation site of intestinal cells. It is well established that plant sterols inhibit intestinal absorption of cholesterol and exert a hypocholesterolemic activity. Plant sterols are solubilized in bile salt micelles as cholesterol. Our study clearly showed that because the sterol-solubilizing capacity of bile salt micelles was limited, plant sterols solubilized in micelles reduced the solubility of cholesterol. This can be the major cause of inhibition of cholesterol absorption by plant sterols. Pancreatic cholesterol esterase accelerates intestinal absorption of unesterified cholesterol. Although it was suggested that cholesterol esterase accelerated esterification of cholesterol incorporated into intestinal cells and acted as a transporter at the surface of intestinal cells, our research revealed that the accelerated cholesterol absorption was caused by hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine in bile salt micelles. It is thought that hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine reduces the affinity of

  11. Plant community, primary productivity, and environmental conditions following wetland re-establishment in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, R.L.; Fujii, R.

    2010-01-01

    Wetland restoration can mitigate aerobic decomposition of subsided organic soils, as well as re-establish conditions favorable for carbon storage. Rates of carbon storage result from the balance of inputs and losses, both of which are affected by wetland hydrology. We followed the effect of water depth (25 and 55 cm) on the plant community, primary production, and changes in two re-established wetlands in the Sacramento San-Joaquin River Delta, California for 9 years after flooding to determine how relatively small differences in water depth affect carbon storage rates over time. To estimate annual carbon inputs, plant species cover, standing above- and below-ground plant biomass, and annual biomass turnover rates were measured, and allometric biomass models for Schoenoplectus (Scirpus) acutus and Typha spp., the emergent marsh dominants, were developed. As the wetlands developed, environmental factors, including water temperature, depth, and pH were measured. Emergent marsh vegetation colonized the shallow wetland more rapidly than the deeper wetland. This is important to potential carbon storage because emergent marsh vegetation is more productive, and less labile, than submerged and floating vegetation. Primary production of emergent marsh vegetation ranged from 1.3 to 3.2 kg of carbon per square meter annually; and, mid-season standing live biomass represented about half of the annual primary production. Changes in species composition occurred in both submerged and emergent plant communities as the wetlands matured. Water depth, temperature, and pH were lower in areas with emergent marsh vegetation compared to submerged vegetation, all of which, in turn, can affect carbon cycling and storage rates. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

  12. Understand the air-pollution laws that affect CPI plants

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-04-01

    The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 promise to further refine and strengthen air-pollution control. The resulting Clean Air Act has a more direct and pervasive impact on our everyday lives than any other environmental law. The Act: establishes health-based air-quality standards; provides for the preparation, approval, and enforcement of state implementation plans to meet the air-quality standards; and provides for the control of new emissions that have the potential to endanger public health. It also provides for the control of new sources of emissions of hazardous air pollutants, for the prevention of significant deterioration of clean air areas, for the reduction of emissions from automobile and other mobile sources, and for the control of acid ran. Finally, the Act provides for permit programs and civil and criminal enforcement. Compliance with the Clean Air Act and the regulations and standards established under it must be integrated into the design and operation of every chemical process industries (CPI) plant. This article provides a brief overview of the Clean Air Act's various air-quality programs.

  13. Arrival order among native plant functional groups does not affect invasibility of constructed dune communities.

    PubMed

    Mason, T J; French, K; Jolley, D

    2013-10-01

    Different arrival order scenarios of native functional groups to a site may influence both resource use during development and final community structure. Arrival order may then indirectly influence community resistance to invasion. We present a mesocosm experiment of constructed coastal dune communities that monitored biotic and abiotic responses to different arrival orders of native functional groups. Constructed communities were compared with unplanted mesocosms. We then simulated a single invasion event by bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a dominant exotic shrub of coastal communities. We evaluated the hypothesis that plantings with simultaneous representation of grass, herb and shrub functional groups at the beginning of the experiment would more completely sequester resources and limit invasion than staggered plantings. Staggered plantings in turn would offer greater resource use and invasion resistance than unplanted mesocosms. Contrary to our expectations, there were few effects of arrival order on abiotic variables for the duration of the experiment and arrival order was unimportant in final community invasibility. All planted mesocosms supported significantly more invader germinants and significantly less invader abundance than unplanted mesocosms. Native functional group plantings may have a nurse effect during the invader germination and establishment phase and a competitive function during the invader juvenile and adult phase. Arrival order per se did not affect resource use and community invasibility in our mesocosm experiment. While grass, herb and shrub functional group plantings will not prevent invasion success in restored communities, they may limit final invader biomass.

  14. Plant establishment on unirrigated green roof modules in a subtropical climate

    PubMed Central

    Dvorak, Bruce D.; Volder, Astrid

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims The application of green roof technology has become more common in the central, northwestern and eastern USA, and is now being employed across the southern USA as well. However, there is little research in the literature that evaluated plant survival on unirrigated green roofs in subtropical climates that experience frequent drought and heat stress. Here, we summarize the results of a study of plant establishment on a modular green roof in south-central Texas. Methodology Fifteen plant species were field tested in 11.4-cm-deep green roof modules on a four-storey building in College Station, Texas, with irrigation limited to the first several weeks of establishment. Climate data, plant growth and species survival were measured over three growing seasons. Principal results Four species survived growing seasons without any losses: Graptopetalum paraguayense, Malephora lutea, Manfreda maculosa and Phemeranthus calycinus. Six species experienced varying levels of mortality: Bulbine frutescens, Delosperma cooperi, Lampranthus spectabilis, Sedum kamtschaticum, Sedum mexicanum and Nassella tenuissima. Five species had no survivors: Dichondra argentea, Stemodia lanata, Myoporum parvifolium, Sedum moranense and Sedum tetractinum. Conclusions The establishment and survival of several plant species without any mortality suggests that irrigation limited to the first few weeks after planting may be an effective approach on green roofs in spite of the more challenging climatic conditions in the southern USA. Since the climate in south-central Texas had been consistently drier and warmer than normal during the study period, longer-term research on these species is recommended to expand knowledge of establishment requirements for these species under a wider range of conditions, including wetter than normal years.

  15. Application of plant growth regulators, a simple technique for improving the establishment success of plant cuttings in coastal dune restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balestri, Elena; Vallerini, Flavia; Castelli, Alberto; Lardicci, Claudio

    2012-03-01

    Exogenous application of plant growth regulators (PGRs) may be an effective technique for increasing the rooting ability and the growth of vegetative fragments (cuttings) of plants used in dune restoration programs. Various concentrations (0, 50 and 100 mg l-1) of two auxins, alpha-naphtaleneacetic acid (NAA) and indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), and two cytokinins, 6-furfurylaminopurine (Kinetin) and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP), were applied separately to cuttings of two widely used species for restoration, Ammophila arenaria and Sporobuls virginicus. Root development and production of new buds in cuttings were examined under laboratory conditions one month after application. Cuttings were also examined one year after transplanting into a sandy substratum under natural conditions, to test for possible long term effects of PGRs on plant establishment success and growth. The response of the two study species to PGRs differed substantially. In A. arenaria the auxin NAA at 100 mg l-1 reduced the time for root initiation and increased the rooting capacity of cuttings, while the cytokinin Kinetin at 50 mg l-1 facilitated root growth. No auxin had effect on rooting or growth of S. virginicus cuttings, but treatment with 100 mg l-1 Kinetin resulted in higher rooting success than the control. One year after planting, the cuttings of A. arenaria treated with 100 mg l-1 NAA showed a higher establishment success (90% vs. 55%) and produced more culms and longer roots than the control; those treated with cytokinins did not differ in the establishment success from the control, but had longer roots, more culms and rhizomes. On the other hand, the cuttings of S. virginicus treated with 100 mg l-1 Kinetin showed a higher establishment success (75% vs. 35%) and had more culms than the control. Therefore, in restoration activities that involved A. arenaria, a pre-treatment of cuttings with NAA would be beneficial, as it allows the production of a higher number of well-developed plants with

  16. Carbon storage potential by four macrophytes as affected by planting diversity in a created wetland.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Korol, Alicia R; Williams, Lisa D

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more

  17. Woody plant establishment in grassed reclamation areas of the Athabasca oil sands

    SciTech Connect

    Fedkenheuer, A.W.

    1980-12-01

    The primary end land use for areas disturbed by the Syncrude Canada Ltd. oil sands surface mining venture is forest cover. Short term erosion control is of concern, however, and this results in the early establishment of a grass and legume cover. Problems have subsequently been encountered in attempts to establish woody plants in the grass and legume cover. Vegetation competition for soil moisture and nutrients and rodent damage to woody seedlings have been the major problem areas. A study was initiated in 1978 to evaluate methods of manipulating the grass and legume cover sufficiently to improve success rates in establishing a variety of shrubs and trees. Five replicated treatments using the chemical herbicide glyphosate, soil scarification and fire alone plus soil scarification were established on an area seeded to grass and legumes in spring 1976. Woody plant survival and rodent damage, populations and distribution are being assessed annually in spring and fall. Rodent damage to woody seedlings was heavy in fall 1978 with 80 percent of the deciduous seedlings on non-scarified plots being damaged. In June 1979, 98 percent of the deciduous plants on the control and herbicide treatment areas were damaged. Damage to conifers was approximately 30 percent less during this time. Prescribed burning and mechanical scarification substantially reduced rodent damage. Seedling survival was variable with Amelanchier alnifolia, Pinus contorta and Populus tremuloides consistently exhibiting the highest survival rates.

  18. Modeling framework for the establishment of the apical-basal embryonic axis in plants.

    PubMed

    Wabnik, Krzysztof; Robert, Hélène S; Smith, Richard S; Friml, Jiří

    2013-12-16

    The apical-basal axis of the early plant embryo determines the body plan of the adult organism. To establish a polarized embryonic axis, plants evolved a unique mechanism that involves directional, cell-to-cell transport of the growth regulator auxin. Auxin transport relies on PIN auxin transporters, whose polar subcellular localization determines the flow directionality. PIN-mediated auxin transport mediates the spatial and temporal activity of the auxin response machinery that contributes to embryo patterning processes, including establishment of the apical (shoot) and basal (root) embryo poles. However, little is known of upstream mechanisms guiding the (re)polarization of auxin fluxes during embryogenesis. Here, we developed a model of plant embryogenesis that correctly generates emergent cell polarities and auxin-mediated sequential initiation of apical-basal axis of plant embryo. The model relies on two precisely localized auxin sources and a feedback between auxin and the polar, subcellular PIN transporter localization. Simulations reproduced PIN polarity and auxin distribution, as well as previously unknown polarization events during early embryogenesis. The spectrum of validated model predictions suggests that our model corresponds to a minimal mechanistic framework for initiation and orientation of the apical-basal axis to guide both embryonic and postembryonic plant development.

  19. 25 CFR 542.4 - How do these regulations affect minimum internal control standards established in a Tribal-State...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false How do these regulations affect minimum internal control... COMMISSION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR HUMAN SERVICES MINIMUM INTERNAL CONTROL STANDARDS § 542.4 How do these regulations affect minimum internal control standards established in a Tribal-State compact? (a) If there is...

  20. Mechanistic framework for establishment, maintenance, and alteration of cell polarity in plants.

    PubMed

    Dhonukshe, Pankaj

    2012-01-01

    Cell polarity establishment, maintenance, and alteration are central to the developmental and response programs of nearly all organisms and are often implicated in abnormalities ranging from patterning defects to cancer. By residing at the distinct plasma membrane domains polar cargoes mark the identities of those domains, and execute localized functions. Polar cargoes are recruited to the specialized membrane domains by directional secretion and/or directional endocytic recycling. In plants, auxin efflux carrier PIN proteins display polar localizations in various cell types and play major roles in directional cell-to-cell transport of signaling molecule auxin that is vital for plant patterning and response programs. Recent advanced microscopy studies applied to single cells in intact plants reveal subcellular PIN dynamics. They uncover the PIN polarity generation mechanism and identified important roles of AGC kinases for polar PIN localization. AGC kinase family members PINOID, WAG1, and WAG2, belonging to the AGC-3 subclass predominantly influence the polar localization of PINs. The emerging mechanism for AGC-3 kinases action suggests that kinases phosphorylate PINs mainly at the plasma membrane after initial symmetric PIN secretion for eventual PIN internalization and PIN sorting into distinct ARF-GEF-regulated polar recycling pathways. Thus phosphorylation status directs PIN translocation to different cell sides. Based on these findings a mechanistic framework evolves that suggests existence of cell side-specific recycling pathways in plants and implicates AGC3 kinases for differential PIN recruitment among them for eventual PIN polarity establishment, maintenance, and alteration.

  1. Potential assessment of establishing a renewable energy plant in a rural agricultural area.

    PubMed

    Su, Ming-Chien; Kao, Nien-Hsin; Huang, Wen-Jar

    2012-06-01

    An evaluation of the green energy potential generated from biogas and solar power, using agricultural manure waste and a photovoltaic (PV) system, was conducted in a large geographical area of a rural county with low population density and low pollution. The studied area, Shoufeng Township in Hualien County, is located in eastern Taiwan, where a large amount of manure waste is generated from pig farms that are scattered throughout the county. The objective of the study is to assess the possibility of establishing an integrated manure waste treatment plant by using the generated biogas incorporated with the PV system to produce renewable energy and then feed it back to the incorporated farms. A filed investigation, geographic information system (GIS) application, empirical equations development, and RETScreen modeling were conducted in the study. The results indicate that Shoufeng Township has the highest priority in setting up an integrated treatment and renewable energy plant by using GIS mapping within a 10-km radius of the transportation range. Two scenarios were plotted in assessing the renewable energy plant and the estimated electricity generation, plus the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction was evaluated. Under the current governmental green energy scheme and from a long-term perspective, the assessment shows great potential in establishing the plant, especially in reducing environmental pollution problems, waste treatment, and developing suitable renewable energy.

  2. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  3. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  4. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2012-07-01 2011-07-01 true Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  5. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  6. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  7. Fusion and metabolism of plant cells as affected by microgravity.

    PubMed

    Hampp, R; Hoffmann, E; Schönherr, K; Johann, P; De Filippis, L

    1997-01-01

    Plant cell protoplasts derived from leaf tissue of two different tobacco species (Nicotiana tabacum., N. rustica L.) were exposed to short-term (sounding rocket experiments) and long-term (spacelab) microgravity environments in order to study both (electro) cell fusion and cell metabolism during early and later stages of tissue regeneration. The period of exposure to microgravity varied from 10 min (sounding rocket) to 10 d (space shuttle). The process of electro fusion of protoplasts was improved under conditions of microgravity: the time needed to establish close membrane contact between protoplasts (alignment time) was reduced (5 as compared to 15 s under 1 g) and numbers of fusion products between protoplasts of different specific density were increased by a factor of about 10. In addition, viability of fusion products, as shown by the ability to form callus, increased from about 60% to more than 90%. Regenerated fusion products obtained from both sounding-rocket and spacelab experiments showed a wide range of intermediate properties between the two parental plants. This was verified by isozyme analysis and random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). In order to address potential metabolic responses, more general markers such as the overall energy state (ATP/ADP ratio), the redox charge of the diphosphopyridine nucleotide system (NADH/NAD ratio), and the pool size of fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru 2,6 bisp), a regulator of the balance between glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, were determined. Responses of these parameters were different with regard to short-term and long-term exposure. Shortly after transition to reduced gravitation (sounding rocket) ratios of ATP/ADP exhibited strong fluctuation while the pool size of NAD decreased (indicating an increased NADH/NAD ratio) and that of Fru 2,6 bisp increased. As similar changes can be observed under stress conditions, this response is probably indicative of a metabolic stress

  8. Plant vigour at establishment and following defoliation are both associated with responses to drought in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.).

    PubMed

    Hatier, Jean-Hugues B; Faville, Marty J; Hickey, Michael J; Koolaard, John P; Schmidt, Jana; Carey, Brandi-Lee; Jones, Chris S

    2014-11-01

    Periodic drought events present a significant and, with climate change, increasing constraint on temperate forage plants' production. Consequently, improving plants' adaptive response to abiotic stress is a key goal to ensure agricultural productivity in these regions. In this study we developed a new methodology, using both area-based comparison and soil water content measurements of individual non-irrigated and irrigated clones, to assess performance of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) genotypes subjected to moisture stress in a simulated competitive environment. We applied this method to the evaluation of a full-sibling population from a pair cross between genotypes from a New Zealand cultivar and a Moroccan ecotype. Our hypothesis was that: (i) both leaf lamina regrowth after defoliation (LR) and plant vigour affect plant performance during drought and rehydration; and (ii) quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with plant performance under moisture stress could be identified. Differences amongst genotypes in dry matter (DM) production, early vigour at establishment, leaf elongation rate and LR were measured. LR explained most of the variation in DM production during exposure to moisture deficit and rehydration followed by plant vigour, indicated by initial DM production in both treatments and subsequent measures of DM production of irrigated clones. We identified two main QTL regions associated with DM production and LR, both during drought exposure and rehydration. Further research focused on these regions should improve our understanding of the genetic control of drought response in this forage crop and potentially other grass species with significant synteny, and support improvement in performance through molecular breeding approaches.

  9. Preventing establishment: an inventory of introduced plants in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, Galapagos.

    PubMed

    Guézou, Anne; Pozo, Paola; Buddenhagen, Christopher

    2007-10-17

    As part of an island-wide project to identify and eradicate potentially invasive plant species before they become established, a program of inventories is being carried out in the urban and agricultural zones of the four inhabited islands in Galapagos. This study reports the results of the inventory from Puerto Villamil, a coastal village representing the urban zone of Isabela Island. We visited all 1193 village properties to record the presence of the introduced plants. In addition, information was collected from half of the properties to determine evidence for potential invasiveness of the plant species. We recorded 261 vascular taxa, 13 of which were new records for Galapagos. Most of the species were intentionally grown (cultivated) (73.3%) and used principally as ornamentals. The most frequent taxa we encountered were Cocos nucifera (coconut tree) (22.1%) as a cultivated plant and Paspalum vaginatum (salt water couch) (13.2%) as a non cultivated plant. In addition 39 taxa were naturalized. On the basis of the invasiveness study, we recommend five species for eradication (Abutilon dianthum, Datura inoxia, Datura metel, Senna alata and Solanum capsicoides), one species for hybridization studies (Opuntia ficus-indica) and three species for control (Furcraea hexapetala, Leucaena leucocephala and Paspalum vaginatum).

  10. Preventing Establishment: An Inventory of Introduced Plants in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, Galapagos

    PubMed Central

    Guézou, Anne; Pozo, Paola; Buddenhagen, Christopher

    2007-01-01

    As part of an island-wide project to identify and eradicate potentially invasive plant species before they become established, a program of inventories is being carried out in the urban and agricultural zones of the four inhabited islands in Galapagos. This study reports the results of the inventory from Puerto Villamil, a coastal village representing the urban zone of Isabela Island. We visited all 1193 village properties to record the presence of the introduced plants. In addition, information was collected from half of the properties to determine evidence for potential invasiveness of the plant species. We recorded 261 vascular taxa, 13 of which were new records for Galapagos. Most of the species were intentionally grown (cultivated) (73.3%) and used principally as ornamentals. The most frequent taxa we encountered were Cocos nucifera (coconut tree) (22.1%) as a cultivated plant and Paspalum vaginatum (salt water couch) (13.2%) as a non cultivated plant. In addition 39 taxa were naturalized. On the basis of the invasiveness study, we recommend five species for eradication (Abutilon dianthum, Datura inoxia, Datura metel, Senna alata and Solanum capsicoides), one species for hybridization studies (Opuntia ficus-indica) and three species for control (Furcraea hexapetala, Leucaena leucocephala and Paspalum vaginatum). PMID:17940606

  11. Affective imagery and acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants.

    PubMed

    Keller, Carmen; Visschers, Vivianne; Siegrist, Michael

    2012-03-01

    This study examined the relationship between the content of spontaneous associations with nuclear power plants and the acceptance of using new-generation nuclear power plants to replace old ones. The study also considered gender as a variable. A representative sample of the German- and French-speaking population of Switzerland (N= 1,221) was used. Log-linear models revealed significant two-way interactions between the association content and acceptance, association content and gender, and gender and acceptance. Correspondence analysis revealed that participants who were opposed to nuclear power plants mainly associated nuclear power plants with risk, negative feelings, accidents, radioactivity, waste disposal, military use, and negative consequences for health and environment; whereas participants favoring nuclear power plants mainly associated them with energy, appearance descriptions of nuclear power plants, and necessity. Thus, individuals opposing nuclear power plants had both more concrete and more diverse associations with them than people who were in favor of nuclear power plants. In addition, participants who were undecided often mentioned similar associations to those participants who were in favor. Males more often expressed associations with energy, waste disposal, and negative health effects. Females more often made associations with appearance descriptions, negative feelings, and negative environmental effects. The results further suggest that acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants was higher in the German-speaking part of the country, where all of the Swiss nuclear power plants are physically located. Practical implications for risk communication are discussed.

  12. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants

    PubMed Central

    Puijalon, Sara

    2012-01-01

    For many plant species, nutrient availability induces important anatomical responses, particularly the production of low-density tissues to the detriment of supporting tissues. Due to the contrasting biomechanical properties of plant tissues, these anatomical responses may induce important modifications in the biomechanical properties of plant organs. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutrient enrichment on the anatomical traits of two freshwater plant species and its consequences on plant biomechanical performance. Two plant species were grown under controlled conditions in low versus high nutrient levels. The anatomical and biomechanical traits of the plant stems were measured. Both species produced tissues with lower densities under nutrient-rich conditions, accompanied by modifications in the structure of the aerenchyma for one species. As expected, nutrient enrichment also led to important modifications in the biomechanical properties of the stem for both species. In particular, mechanical resistance (breaking force and strength) and stiffness of stems were significantly reduced under nutrient rich conditions. The production of weaker stem tissues as a result of nutrient enrichment may increase the risk of plants to mechanical failure, thus challenging plant maintenance in mechanically stressful or disturbed habitats. PMID:23028018

  13. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development*

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Benjamin M.; Errafi, Sanae; Bucher, Rahel; Dobrev, Petre; Geisler, Markus; Bigler, Laurent; Zažímalová, Eva; Ringli, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Flavonols are a group of secondary metabolites that affect diverse cellular processes. They are considered putative negative regulators of the transport of the phytohormone auxin, by which they influence auxin distribution and concomitantly take part in the control of plant organ development. Flavonols are accumulating in a large number of glycosidic forms. Whether these have distinct functions and diverse cellular targets is not well understood. The rol1-2 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by a modified flavonol glycosylation profile that is inducing changes in auxin transport and growth defects in shoot tissues. To determine whether specific flavonol glycosides are responsible for these phenotypes, a suppressor screen was performed on the rol1-2 mutant, resulting in the identification of an allelic series of UGT89C1, a gene encoding a flavonol 7-O-rhamnosyltransferase. A detailed analysis revealed that interfering with flavonol rhamnosylation increases the concentration of auxin precursors and auxin metabolites, whereas auxin transport is not affected. This finding provides an additional level of complexity to the possible ways by which flavonols influence auxin distribution and suggests that flavonol glycosides play an important role in regulating plant development. PMID:26742840

  14. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Benjamin M; Errafi, Sanae; Bucher, Rahel; Dobrev, Petre; Geisler, Markus; Bigler, Laurent; Zažímalová, Eva; Ringli, Christoph

    2016-03-04

    Flavonols are a group of secondary metabolites that affect diverse cellular processes. They are considered putative negative regulators of the transport of the phytohormone auxin, by which they influence auxin distribution and concomitantly take part in the control of plant organ development. Flavonols are accumulating in a large number of glycosidic forms. Whether these have distinct functions and diverse cellular targets is not well understood. The rol1-2 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by a modified flavonol glycosylation profile that is inducing changes in auxin transport and growth defects in shoot tissues. To determine whether specific flavonol glycosides are responsible for these phenotypes, a suppressor screen was performed on the rol1-2 mutant, resulting in the identification of an allelic series of UGT89C1, a gene encoding a flavonol 7-O-rhamnosyltransferase. A detailed analysis revealed that interfering with flavonol rhamnosylation increases the concentration of auxin precursors and auxin metabolites, whereas auxin transport is not affected. This finding provides an additional level of complexity to the possible ways by which flavonols influence auxin distribution and suggests that flavonol glycosides play an important role in regulating plant development.

  15. Compost may affect volatile and semi-volatile plant emissions through nitrogen supply and chlorophyll fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Ormeño, Elena; Olivier, Romain; Mévy, Jean Philippe; Baldy, Virginie; Fernandez, Catherine

    2009-09-01

    The use of composted biosolids as an amendment for forest regeneration in degraded ecosystems is growing since sewage-sludge dumping has been banned in the European Community. Its consequences on plant terpenes are however unknown. Terpene emissions of both Rosmarinus officinalis (a terpene-storing species) and Quercus coccifera (a non-storing species) and terpene content of the former, were studied after a middle-term exposure to compost at intermediate (50tha(-1): D50) and high (100tha(-1): D100) compost rates, in a seven-year-old post-fire shrubland ecosystem. Some chlorophyll fluorescence parameters (Fv/Fm, ETR, Phi(PSII)), soil and plant enrichment in phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) were monitored simultaneously in amended and non-amended plots in order to establish what factors were responsible for possible compost effect on terpenes. Compost affected all studied parameters with the exception of Fv/Fm and terpene content. For both species, mono- and sesquiterpene basal emissions were intensified solely under D50 plots. On the contrary leaf P, leaf N levels reached in D50 were partly responsible of terpene changes, suggesting that optimal N conditions occurred therein. N also affected ETR and Phi(PSII) which were, in turn, robustly correlated to terpene emissions. These results imply that emissions of terpene-storing and non-storing species were under nitrogen and chlorophyll fluorescence control, and that a correct management of compost rates applied on soil may modify terpene emission rate of plants, which in turn has consequences in air quality and plant defense mechanisms.

  16. Factors affecting plant growth in membrane nutrient delivery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreschel, T. W.; Wheeler, R. M.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.

    1990-01-01

    The development of the tubular membrane plant growth unit for the delivery of water and nutrients to roots in microgravity has recently focused on measuring the effects of changes in physical variables controlling solution availability to the plants. Significant effects of membrane pore size and the negative pressure used to contain the solution were demonstrated. Generally, wheat grew better in units with a larger pore size but equal negative pressure and in units with the same pore size but less negative pressure. Lettuce also exhibited better plant growth at less negative pressure.

  17. Water use in four model tropical plant associations established in the lowlands of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Soto, Marco V; Ewel, John J

    2008-12-01

    We examined soil water use patterns of four model plant associations established in the North Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica by comparing the stable hydrogen isotope composition, deltaD, in xylem sap and in soil water at different depths, under rainy and dry conditions. Four 5-year-old model plant associations composed of 2 tree species (Hyeronima alchorneoides and Cedrela odorata) having different architecture and phenology were studied. Average tree height was 8.9 and 7.6 m, respectively. Each tree species was grown in monoculture and in polyculture with 2 perennial monocotyledons (Euterpe oleracea and Heliconia imbricata). Maximum rooting depth at the time of 6D determination was approximately 2 m for almost all species. Most roots of all species were concentrated in the upper soil layers. Stomatal conductance to water vapor (gS) was higher in the deciduous C. odorata than in the evergreen H. alchorneoides; within each species, g, did not differ when the trees were grown in mono or in polyculture. During the rainy season, gradients in soil water 6D were not observed. Average rainy season xylem sap deltaD did not differ among members of the plant combinations tested (-30% per thousand), and was more similar to deltaD values of shallow soil water. Under dry conditions, volumetric soil water content declined from 50 to approximately 35%, and modest gradients in soil water deltaD were observed. Xylem sap deltaD obtained during dry conditions was significantly lower than rainy season values. Xylem sap deltaD of plants growing in the four associations varied between -9 and -22% per hundred, indicating that shallow water was predominantly absorbed during the dry period too. Differences in xylem sap deltaD of trees and monocots were also detected, but no significant patterns emerged. The results suggest that: (a) the plant associations examined extracted water predominantly from shallow soil layers (<1 m), (b) the natural isotopic variation in soil and plant water at

  18. Exogenously treated mammalian sex hormones affect inorganic constituents of plants.

    PubMed

    Erdal, Serkan; Dumlupinar, Rahmi

    2011-10-01

    The present study was undertaken to reveal the changes in inorganic constituents of plants exposed to mammalian sex hormones (MSH). Chickpea leaves were sprayed with 10(-4), 10(-6), 10(-9), 10(-12), and 10(-15) M concentrations of progesterone, β-estradiol, and androsterone at 7th day after sowing. The plants were harvested at the end of 18 days after treatment of MSH solutions and the inorganic components determined using a wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy technique. At all of the concentrations tested, MSH significantly increased the contents of K, S, Na, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, P, Cu, and Ni. Interestingly, only Mn and Cl contents decreased. The maximum changes in the inorganic composition were recorded at 10(-6) M for plants treated with progesterone and 10(-9) M for plants treated with β-estradiol and androsterone.

  19. Plant toxins that affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: A review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants produce wide variety of chemical compounds termed secondary metabolites that are not involved in basic metabolism, photosynthesis or reproduction. These compounds are used as flavors, fragrances, insecticides, dyes, hallucinogens, nutritional supplements, poisons, and pharmaceutical agents. ...

  20. A novel family of small proteins that affect plant development

    SciTech Connect

    John Charles Walker

    2011-04-29

    The DVL genes represent a new group of plant proteins that influence plant growth and development. Overexpression of DVL1, and other members of the DVL family, causes striking phenotypic changes. The DVL proteins share sequence homology in their C-terminal half. Point mutations in the C-terminal domain show it is necessary and deletion studies demonstrate the C-terminal domain is sufficient to confer the overexpression phenotypes. The phenotypes observed, and the conservation of the protein sequence in the plant kingdom, does suggest the DVL proteins have a role in modulating plant growth and development. Our working hypothesis is the DVL proteins function as regulators of cellular signaling pathways that control growth and development.

  1. Estimation of sources of water used by plant established in rocky karst habitats, subtropical China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, Y.; Chen, H.; Schwinning, S.

    2014-12-01

    Plant communities in continental ecosystems usually access to at least two pools of water that can be differentiated based on their turnover characteristics: a plant preferred pool with rapid recharge and depletion (dynamic pool), and a more consistent pool with less frequent recharge and slower loss rates (reserve pool). Identifying the use of different pools by community members is the key to estimating their ecological and hydrological functions. In regions with rocky, thin soils in which plant roots also take up water from rock fissures and crevices, it is usually very difficult to locate plant available water pools and quantify their water status or use by plants. Fortunately, we expect dynamic water pools to frequently change isotopic ratios due to rapid recharge and depletion, while reserve pools of water is expected to have distinct isotope ratios and maintain much less variability. Thus, we can use this fact to derive limited quantitative conclusions about the species differences in water use. In order to reveal sources of water used by one karst endemic tree species (Platycarya longipes) established in two typical karst habitats (cliff face and nearby loose rocky soils), stem samples for the tree and one coexistence shallow rooted shrub species (Tirpitzia ovoidea, which was proved to relied on shallow water sources) were collected for 9 times throughout a growing season. Linear relationships (regression slopes were closed to 1) were found between stem water isotope ratios of the two species in each habitat, indicating that the target tree species also relied on water in the dynamic pool. We further discussed the probable water movement mechanism based on the responses of stem water isotope ratios to rainfall.

  2. Rhizosphere microbiome assemblage is affected by plant development

    PubMed Central

    Chaparro, Jacqueline M; Badri, Dayakar V; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2014-01-01

    There is a concerted understanding of the ability of root exudates to influence the structure of rhizosphere microbial communities. However, our knowledge of the connection between plant development, root exudation and microbiome assemblage is limited. Here, we analyzed the structure of the rhizospheric bacterial community associated with Arabidopsis at four time points corresponding to distinct stages of plant development: seedling, vegetative, bolting and flowering. Overall, there were no significant differences in bacterial community structure, but we observed that the microbial community at the seedling stage was distinct from the other developmental time points. At a closer level, phylum such as Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and specific genera within those phyla followed distinct patterns associated with plant development and root exudation. These results suggested that the plant can select a subset of microbes at different stages of development, presumably for specific functions. Accordingly, metatranscriptomics analysis of the rhizosphere microbiome revealed that 81 unique transcripts were significantly (P<0.05) expressed at different stages of plant development. For instance, genes involved in streptomycin synthesis were significantly induced at bolting and flowering stages, presumably for disease suppression. We surmise that plants secrete blends of compounds and specific phytochemicals in the root exudates that are differentially produced at distinct stages of development to help orchestrate rhizosphere microbiome assemblage. PMID:24196324

  3. Plant surface wax affects parasitoid's response to host footprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rostás, Michael; Ruf, Daniel; Zabka, Vanessa; Hildebrandt, Ulrich

    2008-10-01

    The plant surface is the substrate upon which herbivorous insects and natural enemies meet and thus represents the stage for interactions between the three trophic levels. Plant surfaces are covered by an epicuticular wax layer which is highly variable depending on species, cultivar or plant part. Differences in wax chemistry may modulate ecological interactions. We explored whether caterpillars of Spodoptera frugiperda, when walking over a plant surface, leave a chemical trail (kairomones) that can be detected by the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris. Chemistry and micromorphology of cuticular waxes of two barley eceriferum wax mutants ( cer-za.126, cer-yp.949) and wild-type cv. Bonus (wt) were assessed. The plants were then used to investigate potential surface effects on the detectability of caterpillar kairomones. Here we provide evidence that C. marginiventris responds to chemical footprints of its host. Parasitoids were able to detect the kairomone on wild-type plants and on both cer mutants but the response to cer-yp.949 (reduced wax, high aldehyde fraction) was less pronounced. Experiments with caterpillar-treated wt and mutant leaves offered simultaneously, confirmed this observation: no difference in wasp response was found when wt was tested against cer-za.126 (reduced wax, wt-like chemical composition) but wt was significantly more attractive than cer-yp.949. This demonstrates for the first time that the wax layer can modulate the detectability of host kairomones.

  4. Impacts of Carpobrotus edulis (L.) N.E.Br. on the germination, establishment and survival of native plants: a clue for assessing its competitive strength.

    PubMed

    Novoa, Ana; González, Luís

    2014-01-01

    Does Carpobrotus edulis have an impact on native plants? How do C. edulis' soil residual effects affect the maintenance of native populations? What is the extent of interspecific competition in its invasion process? In order to answer those questions, we established pure and mixed cultures of native species and C. edulis on soil collected from invaded and native areas of Mediterranean coastal dunes in the Iberian Peninsula. We examined the impact of the invader on the germination, growth and survival of seeds and adult plants of two native plant species (Malcolmia littorea (L.) R.Br, and Scabiosa atropurpurea L.) growing with ramets or seeds of C. edulis. Residual effects of C. edulis on soils affected the germination process and early growth of native plants in different ways, depending on plant species and density. Interspecific competition significantly reduced the germination and early growth of native plants but this result was soil, density, timing and plant species dependent. Also, at any density of adult individuals of C. edulis, established native adult plants were not competitive. Moreover, ramets of C. edulis had a lethal effect on native plants, which died in a short period of time. Even the presence of C. edulis seedlings prevents the recruitment of native species. In conclusion, C. edulis have strong negative impacts on the germination, growth and survival of the native species M. littorea and S. atropurpurea. These impacts were highly depended on the development stages of native and invasive plants. Our findings are crucial for new strategies of biodiversity conservation in coastal habitats.

  5. Impacts of Carpobrotus edulis (L.) N.E.Br. on the Germination, Establishment and Survival of Native Plants: A Clue for Assessing Its Competitive Strength

    PubMed Central

    Novoa, Ana; González, Luís

    2014-01-01

    Does Carpobrotus edulis have an impact on native plants? How do C. edulis’ soil residual effects affect the maintenance of native populations? What is the extent of interspecific competition in its invasion process? In order to answer those questions, we established pure and mixed cultures of native species and C. edulis on soil collected from invaded and native areas of Mediterranean coastal dunes in the Iberian Peninsula. We examined the impact of the invader on the germination, growth and survival of seeds and adult plants of two native plant species (Malcolmia littorea (L.) R.Br, and Scabiosa atropurpurea L.) growing with ramets or seeds of C. edulis. Residual effects of C. edulis on soils affected the germination process and early growth of native plants in different ways, depending on plant species and density. Interspecific competition significantly reduced the germination and early growth of native plants but this result was soil, density, timing and plant species dependent. Also, at any density of adult individuals of C. edulis, established native adult plants were not competitive. Moreover, ramets of C. edulis had a lethal effect on native plants, which died in a short period of time. Even the presence of C. edulis seedlings prevents the recruitment of native species. In conclusion, C. edulis have strong negative impacts on the germination, growth and survival of the native species M. littorea and S. atropurpurea. These impacts were highly depended on the development stages of native and invasive plants. Our findings are crucial for new strategies of biodiversity conservation in coastal habitats. PMID:25210924

  6. Efficient procedure for grapevine embryogenic suspension establishment and plant regeneration: role of conditioned medium for cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Ben Amar, A; Cobanov, P; Boonrod, K; Krczal, G; Bouzid, S; Ghorbel, A; Reustle, G M

    2007-09-01

    An efficient system for the establishment and multiplication of highly prolific embryogenic cell cultures of grapevine (Vitis sp.) was developed. Using anther-derived pro-embryogenic masses as starting material, cell suspensions of different grapevine cultivars (Tempranillo, Cabernet-Sauvignon) and rootstocks (Kober 125 AA, Kober 5 BB, 110 Richter) were initiated in liquid medium containing NOA (1.0 mg l(-1)) and BAP (0.25 mg l(-1)) as growth regulators. Conditioned medium was recovered and utilised for establishing new, highly totipotent cell cultures. The suspensions obtained, showed embryogenic competence resulting in somatic embryo induction and subsequent plant regeneration. In this study, a simplified establishment procedure for grapevine embryogenic cell suspension allowing the fast multiplication of embryogenic material is described. Evidence for the promoting effect of the protein fraction derived from conditioned medium, on cell proliferation was found. In bioassays, addition of ss-D: -GlcY affect cell proliferation suggesting that arabinogalactan proteins are required for growth processes in grapevine cell cultures.

  7. Burkholderia cenocepacia Lipopolysaccharide Modification and Flagellin Glycosylation Affect Virulence but Not Innate Immune Recognition in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Khodai-Kalaki, Maryam; Andrade, Angel; Fathy Mohamed, Yasmine

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Burkholderia cenocepacia causes opportunistic infections in plants, insects, animals, and humans, suggesting that “virulence” depends on the host and its innate susceptibility to infection. We hypothesized that modifications in key bacterial molecules recognized by the innate immune system modulate host responses to B. cenocepacia. Indeed, modification of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose and flagellin glycosylation attenuates B. cenocepacia infection in Arabidopsis thaliana and Galleria mellonella insect larvae. However, B. cenocepacia LPS and flagellin triggered rapid bursts of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in A. thaliana leading to activation of the PR-1 defense gene. These responses were drastically reduced in plants with fls2 (flagellin FLS2 host receptor kinase), Atnoa1 (nitric oxide-associated protein 1), and dnd1-1 (reduced production of nitric oxide) null mutations. Together, our results indicate that LPS modification and flagellin glycosylation do not affect recognition by plant receptors but are required for bacteria to establish overt infection. PMID:26045541

  8. Health Care Management Courses in Greek Universities: A First Attempt to Establish Factors Affecting Satisfaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kotsifos, Vangelis; Alegakis, Athanasios; Philalithis, Anastas

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The object of this study is to formulate, establish and apply a suitable and reliable tool for measuring the course experience satisfaction of Master graduates. A questionnaire was formulated, based on similar tools, and adjusted to the reality of Hellenic Higher Education, in order to measure the satisfaction of graduates in three Master…

  9. Management factors affecting establishment and yield of bioenergy miscanthus on claypan soil landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bioenergy crop Miscanthus x giganteus has been well studied for its establishment and yield in Europe and certain parts of the US Midwest but little has been done to investigate these properties when grown on degraded soils, which are typified as being less productive, and consequently, economically...

  10. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Thomson M.; Hall, David G.; Hentz, Matthew G.; Hetesy, Gabriella; Stansly, Philip A.

    2016-01-01

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide due to its role as vector of huanglongbing or citrus greening disease. While some optimal plant species for ACP oviposition and development have been identified, little is known of the influence of host plants on ACP size and shape. Our goal was to determine how size and shape of ACP wing and body size varies when development occurs on different host plants in a controlled rearing environment. ACP were reared on six different rutaceous species; Bergera koenigii, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus macrophylla, Citrus maxima, Citrus taiwanica and Murraya paniculata. Adults were examined for morphometric variation using traditional and geometric analysis based on 12 traits or landmarks. ACP reared on C. taiwanica were consistently smaller than those reared on the other plant species. Wing aspect ratio also differed between C. maxima and C. taiwanica. Significant differences in shape were detected with those reared on M. paniculata having narrower wings than those reared on C. macrophylla. This study provides evidence of wing size and shape differences of ACP based on host plant species which potentially may impact dispersal. Further study is needed to determine if behavioral and physiological differences are associated with the observed phenotypic differences. PMID:27833820

  11. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae).

    PubMed

    Paris, Thomson M; Allan, Sandra A; Hall, David G; Hentz, Matthew G; Hetesy, Gabriella; Stansly, Philip A

    2016-01-01

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide due to its role as vector of huanglongbing or citrus greening disease. While some optimal plant species for ACP oviposition and development have been identified, little is known of the influence of host plants on ACP size and shape. Our goal was to determine how size and shape of ACP wing and body size varies when development occurs on different host plants in a controlled rearing environment. ACP were reared on six different rutaceous species; Bergera koenigii, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus macrophylla, Citrus maxima, Citrus taiwanica and Murraya paniculata. Adults were examined for morphometric variation using traditional and geometric analysis based on 12 traits or landmarks. ACP reared on C. taiwanica were consistently smaller than those reared on the other plant species. Wing aspect ratio also differed between C. maxima and C. taiwanica. Significant differences in shape were detected with those reared on M. paniculata having narrower wings than those reared on C. macrophylla. This study provides evidence of wing size and shape differences of ACP based on host plant species which potentially may impact dispersal. Further study is needed to determine if behavioral and physiological differences are associated with the observed phenotypic differences.

  12. Cadmium content of plants as affected by soil cadmium concentration

    SciTech Connect

    Lehoczky, E.; Szabados, I.; Marth, P.

    1996-12-31

    Pot experiments were conducted in greenhouse conditions to study the effects of increasing cadmium (Cd) levels on biomass production and Cd contents in corn, (Zea mays L.), garlic (Allium sativum L.), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Plants were grown in two soil types: Eutric cambisol soil and A gleyic luvisol soil. Spinach proved to be the most sensitive to Cd treatments as its biomass considerably decreased with the increasing Cd levels. Cadmium contents of the three crops increased with increasing levels of Cd applications. Statistical differences were observed in the Cd contents of crops depending on soil type. With the same Cd rates, Cd tissue concentration of test plants grown in the strongly acidic Gleyic luvisol soil were many times higher than that of plants grown in a neutral Eutric cambisol soil. 14 refs., 4 tabs.

  13. Composition of hydroponic medium affects thorium uptake by tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Soudek, Petr; Kufner, Daniel; Petrová, Sárka; Mihaljevič, Martin; Vaněk, Tomáš

    2013-08-01

    The ability of thorium uptake as well as responses to heavy metal stress were tested in tobacco cultivar La Burley 21. Thorium was accumulated preferentially in the root system. The presence of citric, tartaric and oxalic acids in hydroponic medium increased thorium accumulation in all plant organs. On the other hand, the addition of diamines and polyamines, the important antioxidants in plants, resulted in decrease of thorium accumulation, especially in the root system. Negative correlation was found between putrescine concentration and thorium accumulation. Nevertheless, the most important factor influencing the accumulation of thorium was the absence of phosphate ions in a hydroponic medium that caused more than 10-fold increase of thorium uptake in all plant parts. Accumulation and distribution of thorium was followed in six cultivars and 14 selected transformants. Cultivar La Barley 21 represented an average between the tested genotypes, having a very good distribution ratio between roots, stems and leaves.

  14. How neighbor canopy architecture affects target plant performance

    SciTech Connect

    Tremmel, D.C.; Bazzaz, F.A. )

    1993-10-01

    Plant competition occurs through the negative effects that individual plants have on resource availability to neighboring individuals. Therefore competition experiments need to examine how different species change resource availability to their neighbors, and how different species respond to these changes-allocationally, architecturally, and physiologically-through time. In a greenhouse study we used a model system of annuals to examine how canopies of species having differing morphologies differed in their architectures and light-interception abilities, and how different species performed when grown in these canopies. Abutilon theophrasti, Datura stramonium, and Polygonum pensylvanicum were grown as [open quotes]targets[close quotes]. Plants were grown in pots, with one target plant and four neighbor plants. Detailed measurements of neighbor canopy structure and target plant canopy architecture were made at five harvests. Species with different morphologies showed large differences in canopy structure, particularly when grass and forb species were compared. Setaria, a grass, had a more open canopy than the other species (all forbs), and was a consistently weak competitor. Overall, however, the relative effects of different neighbors on target biomass varied with target species. Target biomass was poorly correlated with neighbor biomass and leaf area, but was highly correlated with a measure of target light-interception ability that took into account both target leaf deployment and neighbor light interception. Despite clear differences among neighbor species in canopy structure and effect on light penetration, the results suggest no broad generalizations about the effects of different species as neighbors. Knowledge of morphological, physiological, and life history characteristics of both the target and neighbor species may be necessary to explain the results of their competition. 53 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  15. School Factors Explaining Achievement on Cognitive and Affective Outcomes: Establishing a Dynamic Model of Educational Effectiveness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Creemers, Bert; Kyriakides, Leonidas

    2010-01-01

    The dynamic model of educational effectiveness defines school level factors associated with student outcomes. Emphasis is given to the two main aspects of policy, evaluation, and improvement in schools which affect quality of teaching and learning at both the level of teachers and students: a) teaching and b) school learning environment. Five…

  16. Plant vigour at establishment and following defoliation are both associated with responses to drought in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    PubMed Central

    Hatier, Jean-Hugues B.; Faville, Marty J.; Hickey, Michael J.; Koolaard, John P.; Schmidt, Jana; Carey, Brandi-Lee; Jones, Chris S.

    2014-01-01

    Periodic drought events present a significant and, with climate change, increasing constraint on temperate forage plants’ production. Consequently, improving plants’ adaptive response to abiotic stress is a key goal to ensure agricultural productivity in these regions. In this study we developed a new methodology, using both area-based comparison and soil water content measurements of individual non-irrigated and irrigated clones, to assess performance of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) genotypes subjected to moisture stress in a simulated competitive environment. We applied this method to the evaluation of a full-sibling population from a pair cross between genotypes from a New Zealand cultivar and a Moroccan ecotype. Our hypothesis was that: (i) both leaf lamina regrowth after defoliation (LR) and plant vigour affect plant performance during drought and rehydration; and (ii) quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with plant performance under moisture stress could be identified. Differences amongst genotypes in dry matter (DM) production, early vigour at establishment, leaf elongation rate and LR were measured. LR explained most of the variation in DM production during exposure to moisture deficit and rehydration followed by plant vigour, indicated by initial DM production in both treatments and subsequent measures of DM production of irrigated clones. We identified two main QTL regions associated with DM production and LR, both during drought exposure and rehydration. Further research focused on these regions should improve our understanding of the genetic control of drought response in this forage crop and potentially other grass species with significant synteny, and support improvement in performance through molecular breeding approaches. PMID:25104762

  17. Plant extracts affect in vitro rumen microbial fermentation.

    PubMed

    Busquet, M; Calsamiglia, S; Ferret, A; Kamel, C

    2006-02-01

    Different doses of 12 plant extracts and 6 secondary plant metabolites were incubated for 24 h in diluted ruminal fluid with a 50:50 forage:concentrate diet. Treatments were: control (no additive), plant extracts (anise oil, cade oil, capsicum oil, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, dill oil, fenugreek, garlic oil, ginger oil, oregano oil, tea tree oil, and yucca), and secondary plant metabolites (anethol, benzyl salicylate, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol). Each treatment was supplied at 3, 30, 300, and 3,000 mg/L of culture fluid. At 3,000 mg/L, most treatments decreased total volatile fatty acid concentration, but cade oil, capsicum oil, dill oil, fenugreek, ginger oil, and yucca had no effect. Different doses of anethol, anise oil, carvone, and tea tree oil decreased the proportion of acetate and propionate, which suggests that these compounds may not be nutritionally beneficial to dairy cattle. Garlic oil (300 and 3,000 mg/L) and benzyl salicylate (300 and 3,000 mg/L) reduced acetate and increased propionate and butyrate proportions, suggesting that methane production was inhibited. At 3,000 mg/L, capsicum oil, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, eugenol, fenugreek, and oregano oil resulted in a 30 to 50% reduction in ammonia N concentration. Careful selection and combination of these extracts may allow the manipulation of rumen microbial fermentation.

  18. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), due to its potential to vector the pathogen causing citrus greening disease or huanglongbing, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide. While optimal plant cultivars for ACP oviposition and development have been determined, little is known of the influence of...

  19. Maximizing plant density affects broccoli yield and quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased demand for fresh market bunch broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) has led to increased production along the United States east coast. Maximizing broccoli yields is a primary concern for quickly expanding southeastern commercial markets. This broccoli plant density study was carr...

  20. Plant community and target species affect responses to restoration strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increases in Kentucky bluegrass and smooth brome on northern Great Plains rangelands have the potential to negatively impact ecosystem function, lower plant diversity and alter seasonal forage distribution, but control strategies are lacking in the region. A project was initiated on a heavily invad...

  1. Plant Litter Submergence Affects the Water Quality of a Constructed Wetland.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xu; Ping, Yunmei; Cui, Lijuan; Li, Wei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhou, Jian; Yu, Fei-Hai; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Plant litter is an indispensable component of constructed wetlands, but how the submergence of plant litter affects their ecosystem functions and services, such as water purification, is still unclear. Moreover, it is also unclear whether the effects of plant litter submergence depend on other factors such as the duration of litter submergence, water source or litter species identity. Here we conducted a greenhouse experiment by submerging the litter of 7 wetland plant species into three types of water substrates and monitoring changes in water nutrient concentrations. Litter submergence affected water quality positively via decreasing the concentration of nitrate nitrogen and negatively via increasing the concentrations of total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus. The effects of litter submergence depended on the duration of litter submergence, the water source, the litter species identity, and the plant life form. Different plant species had different effects on the water nutrient concentrations during litter submergence, and the effects of floating plants might be more negative than that of emergent plants. These results are novel evidence of how the submergence of different plant (life form) litter may affect the purification function of constructed wetlands. For water at low eutrophication levels, submerging a relative small amount of plant litter might improve water quality, via benefiting the denitrification process in water. These findings emphasized the management of floating plant litter (a potential removal) during the maintenance of human-controlled wetland ecosystems and provided a potential tool to improve the water quality of constructed wetlands via submerging plant litter of different types.

  2. Does the Establishment of Sustainable Use Reserves Affect Fire Management in the Humid Tropics?

    PubMed

    Carmenta, Rachel; Blackburn, George Alan; Davies, Gemma; de Sassi, Claudio; Lima, André; Parry, Luke; Tych, Wlodek; Barlow, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests are experiencing a growing fire problem driven by climatic change, agricultural expansion and forest degradation. Protected areas are an important feature of forest protection strategies, and sustainable use reserves (SURs) may be reducing fire prevalence since they promote sustainable livelihoods and resource management. However, the use of fire in swidden agriculture, and other forms of land management, may be undermining the effectiveness of SURs in meeting their conservation and sustainable development goals. We analyse MODIS derived hot pixels, TRMM rainfall data, Terra-Class land cover data, socio-ecological data from the Brazilian agro-census and the spatial extent of rivers and roads to evaluate whether the designation of SURs reduces fire occurrence in the Brazilian Amazon. Specifically, we ask (1) a. Is SUR location (i.e., de facto) or (1) b. designation (i.e. de jure) the driving factor affecting performance in terms of the spatial density of fires?, and (2), Does SUR creation affect fire management (i.e., the timing of fires in relation to previous rainfall)? We demonstrate that pre-protection baselines are crucial for understanding reserve performance. We show that reserve creation had no discernible impact on fire density, and that fires were less prevalent in SURs due to their characteristics of sparser human settlement and remoteness, rather than their status de jure. In addition, the timing of fires in relation to rainfall, indicative of local fire management and adherence to environmental law, did not improve following SUR creation. These results challenge the notion that SURs promote environmentally sensitive fire-management, and suggest that SURs in Amazonia will require special attention if they are to curtail future accidental wildfires, particularly as plans to expand the road infrastructure throughout the region are realised. Greater investment to support improved fire management by farmers living in reserves, in addition to

  3. Does the Establishment of Sustainable Use Reserves Affect Fire Management in the Humid Tropics?

    PubMed Central

    Carmenta, Rachel; Blackburn, George Alan; Davies, Gemma; de Sassi, Claudio; Lima, André; Parry, Luke; Tych, Wlodek; Barlow, Jos

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests are experiencing a growing fire problem driven by climatic change, agricultural expansion and forest degradation. Protected areas are an important feature of forest protection strategies, and sustainable use reserves (SURs) may be reducing fire prevalence since they promote sustainable livelihoods and resource management. However, the use of fire in swidden agriculture, and other forms of land management, may be undermining the effectiveness of SURs in meeting their conservation and sustainable development goals. We analyse MODIS derived hot pixels, TRMM rainfall data, Terra-Class land cover data, socio-ecological data from the Brazilian agro-census and the spatial extent of rivers and roads to evaluate whether the designation of SURs reduces fire occurrence in the Brazilian Amazon. Specifically, we ask (1) a. Is SUR location (i.e., de facto) or (1) b. designation (i.e. de jure) the driving factor affecting performance in terms of the spatial density of fires?, and (2), Does SUR creation affect fire management (i.e., the timing of fires in relation to previous rainfall)? We demonstrate that pre-protection baselines are crucial for understanding reserve performance. We show that reserve creation had no discernible impact on fire density, and that fires were less prevalent in SURs due to their characteristics of sparser human settlement and remoteness, rather than their status de jure. In addition, the timing of fires in relation to rainfall, indicative of local fire management and adherence to environmental law, did not improve following SUR creation. These results challenge the notion that SURs promote environmentally sensitive fire-management, and suggest that SURs in Amazonia will require special attention if they are to curtail future accidental wildfires, particularly as plans to expand the road infrastructure throughout the region are realised. Greater investment to support improved fire management by farmers living in reserves, in addition to

  4. Microbial inoculants and organic amendment improves plant establishment and soil rehabilitation under semiarid conditions.

    PubMed

    Mengual, Carmen; Schoebitz, Mauricio; Azcón, Rosario; Roldán, Antonio

    2014-02-15

    The re-establishment of autochthonous shrub species is an essential strategy for recovering degraded soils under semiarid Mediterranean conditions. A field assay was carried out to determine the combined effects of the inoculation with native rhizobacteria (Bacillus megaterium, Enterobacter sp, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sp) and the addition of composted sugar beet (SB) residue on physicochemical soil properties and Lavandula dentata L. establishment. One year after planting, Bacillus sp. and B. megaterium + SB were the most effective treatments for increasing shoot dry biomass (by 5-fold with respect to control) and Enterobacter sp + SB was the most effective treatments for increasing dry root biomass. All the treatments evaluated significantly increased the foliar nutrient content (NPK) compared to control values (except B. thuringiensis + SB). The organic amendment had significantly increased available phosphorus content in rhizosphere soil by 29% respect to the control. Enterobacter sp combined with sugar beet residue improved total N content in soil (by 46% respect to the control) as well as microbiological and biochemical properties. The selection of the most efficient rhizobacteria strains and their combined effect with organic residue seems to be a critical point that drives the effectiveness of using these biotechnological tools for the revegetation and rehabilitation of degraded soils under semiarid conditions.

  5. Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedback affects root interactions and interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, Marloes; Ravenek, Janneke M; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek E; van der Paauw, Jan Willem; de Caluwe, Hannie; van der Putten, Wim H; de Kroon, Hans; Mommer, Liesje

    2015-08-01

    Plant-soil feedback is receiving increasing interest as a factor influencing plant competition and species coexistence in grasslands. However, we do not know how spatial distribution of plant-soil feedback affects plant below-ground interactions. We investigated the way in which spatial heterogeneity of soil biota affects competitive interactions in grassland plant species. We performed a pairwise competition experiment combined with heterogeneous distribution of soil biota using four grassland plant species and their soil biota. Patches were applied as quadrants of 'own' and 'foreign' soils from all plant species in all pairwise combinations. To evaluate interspecific root responses, species-specific root biomass was quantified using real-time PCR. All plant species suffered negative soil feedback, but strength was species-specific, reflected by a decrease in root growth in own compared with foreign soil. Reduction in root growth in own patches by the superior plant competitor provided opportunities for inferior competitors to increase root biomass in these patches. These patterns did not cascade into above-ground effects during our experiment. We show that root distributions can be determined by spatial heterogeneity of soil biota, affecting plant below-ground competitive interactions. Thus, spatial heterogeneity of soil biota may contribute to plant species coexistence in species-rich grasslands.

  6. Olfactory memory established during trophallaxis affects food search behaviour in ants.

    PubMed

    Provecho, Yael; Josens, Roxana

    2009-10-01

    Camponotus mus ants can associate sucrose and odour at the source during successive foraging cycles and use this memory to locate the nectar in the absence of other cues. These ants perform conspicuous trophallactic behaviour during recruitment while foraging for nectar. In this work, we studied whether Camponotus mus ants are able to establish this odour-sucrose association in the social context of trophallaxis and we evaluated this memory in another context previously experienced by the ant, as a nectar source. After a single trophallaxis of a scented solution, the receiver ant was tested in a Y-maze without any reward, where two scents were presented: in one arm, the solution scent and in the other, a new scent. Ants consistently chose the arm with the solution scent and stayed longer therein. Trophallaxis duration had no effect on the arm choice or with the time spent in each arm. Workers are able to associate an odour (conditioned stimulus) with the sucrose (unconditioned stimulus) they receive through a social interaction and use this memory as choice criteria during food searching.

  7. Contrasts in Student Affect by Institution and Instructor: Establishing a National Baseline for Geoscience Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mcconnell, D. A.; Perkins, D.; Stempien, J.; Husman, J.

    2011-12-01

    The GARNET (Geoscience Affective Research Network) project examines the connection between student learning and the affective domain, which includes student motivations, values, attitudes and learning strategies - factors that can both promote and limit learning. This is the first study to compare and contrast the relationship between student motivation and learning strategies, the nature of classroom instruction, and learning outcomes across a common course taught by multiple instructors at different types of academic institutions. In 2009-2011 we administered pre- and post-course Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaires (MSLQ; Pintrich et al, 1993) to 1990 students in more than 40 introductory geology classes taught by 25 instructors at nine colleges and universities. Students primarily register for the introductory courses to fulfill a general education requirement with a relatively modest proportion (25%) declaring a prior interest in the course topic. This institutional requirement produces a situation where students' motivational orientation is not likely to adjust to their newfound academic environment. The students do not have an interest in the topic, they have little prior knowledge about the content, they do not see connections between the content and their future goals, and they have limited autonomy in their choice of a course (the course is required). In general, we find that across different institutions and instructors, students' motivation and self-regulation degrades. Through classroom observations, and student surveys we have evidence that specific faculty are able to help students maintain some of the positive motivational orientations students bring to the class. The MSLQ contains 15 subscales, six measure motivation (e.g., task value, self-efficacy), and nine focus on different learning strategies (e.g., elaboration, effort regulation). Regardless of institution or instructor, MSLQ scores on many subscales declined from beginning to

  8. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    PubMed

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment.

  9. Colostrum quality affects immune system establishment and intestinal development of neonatal calves.

    PubMed

    Yang, M; Zou, Y; Wu, Z H; Li, S L; Cao, Z J

    2015-10-01

    The first meal of a neonatal calf after birth is crucial for survival and health. The present experiment was performed to assess the effects of colostrum quality on IgG passive transfer, immune and antioxidant status, and intestinal morphology and histology in neonatal calves. Twenty-eight Holstein neonatal male calves were used in the current study, 24 of which were assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: those that received colostrum (GrC), transitional milk (GrT, which was obtained after the first milking on 2-3 d after calving), and bulk tank milk (GrB) only at birth. The 4 extra neonatal calves who were not fed any milk were assigned to the control group and were killed immediately after birth to be a negative control to small intestinal morphology and histology detection. Calves in GrC gained more body weight than in GrT, whereas GrB calves lost 0.4 kg compared with the birth weight. Serum total protein, IgG, and superoxide dismutase concentrations were highest in GrC, GrT was intermediate, whereas GrB was the lowest on d 2, 3, and 7. Apparent efficiency of absorption at 48 h, serum complement 3 (C3), and complement 4 (C4) on d 2, 3, and 7 in GrB was low compared with GrC and GrT. On the contrary, malondialdehyde on d 7 increased in GrB. Calves in GrC had better villus length and width, crypt depth, villus height/crypt depth (V/C) value, and mucosal thickness in the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, whereas GrT calves had lower villus length and width, crypt depth, and mucosal thickness than those fed colostrum. Villi of calves in GrB were nonuniform, sparse, severely atrophied, and apically abscised, and Peyer's patches and hydroncus were detected. Overall, colostrum is the best source for calves in IgG absorption, antioxidant activities, and serum growth metabolites, and promoting intestinal development. The higher quality of colostrum calves ingested, the faster immune defense mechanism and the more healthy intestinal circumstances they established.

  10. Reassessment of selected factors affecting siting of Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.E.; Hanson, A.L.; Mubayi, V.; Nourbakhsh, H.P.

    1997-02-01

    Brookhaven National Laboratory has performed a series of probabilistic consequence assessment calculations for nuclear reactor siting. This study takes into account recent insights into severe accident source terms and examines consequences in a risk based format consistent with the quantitative health objectives (QHOs) of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy. Simplified severe accident source terms developed in this study are based on the risk insights of NUREG-1150. The results of the study indicate that both the quantity of radioactivity released in a severe accident as well as the likelihood of a release are lower than those predicted in earlier studies. The accident risks using the simplified source terms are examined at a series of generic plant sites, that vary in population distribution, meteorological conditions, and exclusion area boundary distances. Sensitivity calculations are performed to evaluate the effects of emergency protective action assumptions on the risk of prompt fatality and latent cancers fatality, and population relocation. The study finds that based on the new source terms the prompt and latent fatality risks at all generic sites meet the QHOs of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy by margins ranging from one to more than three orders of magnitude. 4 refs., 17 figs., 24 tabs.

  11. Bacterial communities involved in soil formation and plant establishment triggered by pyrite bioweathering on arctic moraines.

    PubMed

    Mapelli, Francesca; Marasco, Ramona; Rizzi, Agostino; Baldi, Franco; Ventura, Stefano; Daffonchio, Daniele; Borin, Sara

    2011-02-01

    In arctic glacier moraines, bioweathering primed by microbial iron oxidizers creates fertility gradients that accelerate soil development and plant establishment. With the aim of investigating the change of bacterial diversity in a pyrite-weathered gradient, we analyzed the composition of the bacterial communities involved in the process by sequencing 16S rRNA gene libraries from different biological soil crusts (BSC). Bacterial communities in three BSC of different morphology, located within 1 m distance downstream a pyritic conglomerate rock, were significantly diverse. The glacier moraine surrounding the weathered site showed wide phylogenetic diversity and high evenness with 15 represented bacterial classes, dominated by Alphaproteobacteria and pioneer Cyanobacteria colonizers. The bioweathered area showed the lowest diversity indexes and only nine bacterial families, largely dominated by Acidobacteriaceae and Acetobacteraceae typical of acidic environments, in accordance with the low pH of the BSC. In the weathered BSC, iron-oxidizing bacteria were cultivated, with counts decreasing along with the increase of distance from the rock, and nutrient release from the rock was revealed by environmental scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray analyses. The vegetated area showed the presence of Actinomycetales, Verrucomicrobiales, Gemmatimonadales, Burkholderiales, and Rhizobiales, denoting a bacterial community typical of developed soils and indicating that the lithoid substrate of the bare moraine was here subjected to an accelerated colonization, driven by iron-oxidizing activity.

  12. Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedbacks increases per capita reproductive biomass of species at an establishment disadvantage.

    PubMed

    Burns, Jean H; Brandt, Angela J; Murphy, Jennifer E; Kaczowka, Angela M; Burke, David J

    2017-04-01

    Plant-soil feedbacks have been widely implicated as a driver of plant community diversity, and the coexistence prediction generated by a negative plant-soil feedback can be tested using the mutual invasibility criterion: if two populations are able to invade one another, this result is consistent with stable coexistence. We previously showed that two co-occurring Rumex species exhibit negative pairwise plant-soil feedbacks, predicting that plant-soil feedbacks could lead to their coexistence. However, whether plants are able to reproduce when at an establishment disadvantage ("invasibility"), or what drivers in the soil might correlate with this pattern, are unknown. To address these questions, we created experimental plots with heterogeneous and homogeneous soils using field-collected conditioned soils from each of these Rumex species. We then allowed resident plants of each species to establish and added invader seeds of the congener to evaluate invasibility. Rumex congeners were mutually invasible, in that both species were able to establish and reproduce in the other's resident population. Invaders of both species had twice as much reproduction in heterogeneous compared to homogeneous soils; thus the spatial arrangement of plant-soil feedbacks may influence coexistence. Soil mixing had a non-additive effect on the soil bacterial and fungal communities, soil moisture, and phosphorous availability, suggesting that disturbance could dramatically alter soil legacy effects. Because the spatial arrangement of soil patches has coexistence implications, plant-soil feedback studies should move beyond studies of mean effects of single patch types, to consider how the spatial arrangement of patches in the field influences plant communities.

  13. Plant Litter Submergence Affects the Water Quality of a Constructed Wetland

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Lijuan; Li, Wei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhou, Jian; Yu, Fei-Hai; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Plant litter is an indispensable component of constructed wetlands, but how the submergence of plant litter affects their ecosystem functions and services, such as water purification, is still unclear. Moreover, it is also unclear whether the effects of plant litter submergence depend on other factors such as the duration of litter submergence, water source or litter species identity. Here we conducted a greenhouse experiment by submerging the litter of 7 wetland plant species into three types of water substrates and monitoring changes in water nutrient concentrations. Litter submergence affected water quality positively via decreasing the concentration of nitrate nitrogen and negatively via increasing the concentrations of total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus. The effects of litter submergence depended on the duration of litter submergence, the water source, the litter species identity, and the plant life form. Different plant species had different effects on the water nutrient concentrations during litter submergence, and the effects of floating plants might be more negative than that of emergent plants. These results are novel evidence of how the submergence of different plant (life form) litter may affect the purification function of constructed wetlands. For water at low eutrophication levels, submerging a relative small amount of plant litter might improve water quality, via benefiting the denitrification process in water. These findings emphasized the management of floating plant litter (a potential removal) during the maintenance of human-controlled wetland ecosystems and provided a potential tool to improve the water quality of constructed wetlands via submerging plant litter of different types. PMID:28129405

  14. Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xinmin; Siemann, Evan; Shao, Xu; Wei, Hui; Ding, Jianqing

    2013-08-01

    Plants and herbivorous insects can each be dramatically affected by temperature. Climate warming may impact plant invasion success directly but also indirectly through changes in their natural enemies. To date, however, there are no tests of how climate warming shifts the interactions among invasive plants and their natural enemies to affect invasion success. Field surveys covering the full latitudinal range of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in China showed that a beetle introduced for biocontrol was rare or absent at higher latitudes. In contrast, plant cover and mass increased with latitude. In a 2-year field experiment near the northern limit of beetle distribution, we found the beetle sustained populations across years under elevated temperature, dramatically decreasing A. philoxeroides growth, but it failed to overwinter in ambient temperature. Together, these results suggest that warming will allow the natural enemy to expand its range, potentially benefiting biocontrol in regions that are currently too cold for the natural enemy. However, the invader may also expand its range further north in response to warming. In such cases where plants tolerate cold better than their natural enemies, the geographical gap between plant and herbivorous insect ranges may not disappear but will shift to higher latitudes, leading to a new zone of enemy release. Therefore, warming will not only affect plant invasions directly but also drive either enemy release or increase that will result in contrasting effects on invasive plants. The findings are also critical for future management of invasive species under climate change.

  15. Negative effects of fluoranthene on the ecophysiology of tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) Fluoranthene mists negatively affected tomato plants.

    PubMed

    Oguntimehin, Ilemobayo; Eissa, Fawzy; Sakugawa, Hiroshi

    2010-02-01

    Cherry tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) were sprayed with fluoranthene and mixture of fluoranthene and mannitol solutions for 30d. The exposure was carried out in growth chambers in field conditions, and the air was filtered through charcoal filters to remove atmospheric contaminants. Plants were sprayed with 10microM fluoranthene as mist until they reached the fruiting stage, and the eco-physiological parameters were measured to determine the effects of the treatments. We measured CO(2) uptake and water vapour exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, leaf pigment contents, visual symptoms and biomass allocation. Fluoranthene which was deposited as mist onto leaves negatively affected both growth and the quality of tomato plants, while other treatments did not. The photosynthetic rate measured at saturated irradiance was approximately 37% lower in fluoranthene-treated plants compared with the control group. Other variables, such as stomata conductance, the photochemical efficiency of PSII in the dark, Chl a, Chl b, and the total chlorophyll contents of the tomato leaves were significantly reduced in the fluoranthene-treated plants. Tomato plants treated with fluoranthene showed severe visible injury symptoms on the foliage during the exposure period. Mannitol (a reactive oxygen scavenger) mitigated effects of fluoranthene; thus, reactive oxygen species generated through fluoranthene may be responsible for the damaged tomato plants. It is possible for fluoranthene to decrease the aesthetic and hence the economic value of this valuable crop plant.

  16. Competitive interactions between established grasses and woody plant seedlings under elevated CO₂ levels are mediated by soil water availability.

    PubMed

    Manea, A; Leishman, M R

    2015-02-01

    The expansion of woody plants into grasslands has been observed worldwide and is likely to have widespread ecological consequences. One proposal is that woody plant expansion into grasslands is driven in part by the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We have examined the effect of CO2 concentration on the competitive interactions between established C4 grasses and woody plant seedlings in a model grassland system. Woody plant seedlings were grown in mesocosms together with established C4 grasses in three competition treatments (root competition, shoot competition and root + shoot competition) under ambient and elevated CO2 levels. We found that the growth of the woody plant seedlings was suppressed by competition from grasses, with root and shoot competition having similar competitive effects on growth. In contrast to expectations, woody plant seedling growth was reduced at elevated CO2 levels compared to that at the ambient CO2 level across all competition treatments, with the most plausible explanation being reduced light and soil water availability in the elevated CO2 mesocosms. Reduced light and soil water availability in the elevated CO2 mesocosms was associated with an increased leaf area index of the grasses which offset the reductions in stomatal conductance and increased rainfall interception. The woody plant seedlings also had reduced 'escapability' (stem biomass and stem height) under elevated compared to ambient CO2 levels. Our results suggest that the expansion of woody plants into grasslands in the future will likely be context-dependent, with the establishment success of woody plant seedlings being strongly coupled to the CO2 response of competing grasses and to soil water availability.

  17. Pollinator diversity affects plant reproduction and recruitment: the tradeoffs of generalization.

    PubMed

    Gómez, José M; Bosch, Jordi; Perfectti, Francisco; Fernández, Juande; Abdelaziz, Mohamed

    2007-09-01

    One outstanding and unsolved challenge in ecology and conservation biology is to understand how pollinator diversity affects plant performance. Here, we provide evidence of the functional role of pollination diversity in a plant species, Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Pollinator abundance, richness and diversity as well as plant reproduction and recruitment were determined in eight plant populations. We found that E. mediohispanicum was generalized both at the regional and local (population) scale, since its flowers were visited by more than 100 species of insects with very different morphology, size and behaviour. However, populations differed in the degree of generalization. Generalization correlated with pollinator abundance and plant population size, but not with habitat, ungulate damage intensity, altitude or spatial location. More importantly, the degree of generalization had significant consequences for plant reproduction and recruitment. Plants from populations with intermediate generalization produced more seeds than plants from populations with low or high degrees of generalization. These differences were not the result of differences in number of flowers produced per plant. In addition, seedling emergence in a common garden was highest in plants from populations with intermediate degree of generalization. This outcome suggests the existence of an optimal level of generalizations even for generalized plant species.

  18. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows

    PubMed Central

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D.; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A.; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13–15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip. PMID:27588024

  19. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows.

    PubMed

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13-15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip.

  20. Selective Pressure along a Latitudinal Gradient Affects Subindividual Variation in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Sobral, Mar; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo; Larrinaga, Asier R.

    2013-01-01

    Individual plants produce repeated structures such as leaves, flowers or fruits, which, although belonging to the same genotype, are not phenotypically identical. Such subindividual variation reflects the potential of individual genotypes to vary with micro-environmental conditions. Furthermore, variation in organ traits imposes costs to foraging animals such as time, energy and increased predation risk. Therefore, animals that interact with plants may respond to this variation and affect plant fitness. Thus, phenotypic variation within an individual plant could be, in part, an adaptive trait. Here we investigated this idea and we found that subindividual variation of fruit size of Crataegus monogyna, in different populations throughout the latitudinal gradient in Europe, was explained at some extent by the selective pressures exerted by seed-dispersing birds. These findings support the hypothesis that within-individual variation in plants is an adaptive trait selected by interacting animals which may have important implications for plant evolution. PMID:24069297

  1. Interactions between plant traits and sediment characteristics influencing species establishment and scale-dependent feedbacks in salt marsh ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, C.; Bouma, T. J.; Zhang, L. Q.; Temmerman, S.; Ysebaert, T.; Herman, P. M. J.

    2015-12-01

    The importance of ecosystem engineering and biogeomorphic processes in shaping many aquatic and semi-aquatic landscapes is increasingly acknowledged. Ecosystem engineering and biogeomorphic landscape formation involves two critical processes: (1) species establishment, and (2) scale-dependent feedbacks, meaning that organisms improve their living conditions on a local scale but at the same time worsen them at larger scales. However, the influence of organism traits in combination with physical factors (e.g. hydrodynamics, sediments) on early establishment and successive development due to scale-dependent feedbacks is still unclear. As a model system, this was tested for salt marsh pioneer plants by conducting flume experiments: i) on the influence of species-specific traits (such as stiffness) of two contrasting dominant pioneer species (Spartina alterniflora and Scirpus mariqueter) to withstand current-induced stress during establishment; and ii) to study the impact of species-specific traits (stiffness) and physical forcing (water level, current stress) on the large-scale negative feedback at established tussocks (induced scour at tussock edges) of the two model species. The results indicate that, not only do species-specific plant traits, such as stiffness, exert a major control on species establishment thresholds, but also potentially physiologically triggered plant properties, such as adapted root morphology due to sediment properties. Moreover, the results show a clear relation between species-specific plant traits, abiotics (i.e. sediment, currents) and the magnitude of the large-scale negative scale-dependent feedback. These findings suggest that the ecosystem engineering ability, resulting from physical plant properties can be disadvantageous for plant survival through promoted dislodgement (stem stiffness increases the amount of drag experienced at the root system), underlying the importance of scale-dependent feedbacks on landscape development.

  2. Multilevel dynamic systems affecting introduction of HIV/STI prevention innovations among Chinese women in sex work establishments.

    PubMed

    Weeks, Margaret R; Li, Jianghong; Liao, Susu; Zhang, Qingning; Dunn, Jennifer; Wang, Yanhong; Jiang, Jingmei

    2013-10-01

    Social and public health scientists are increasingly interested in applying system dynamics theory to improve understanding and to harness the forces of change within complex, multilevel systems that affect community intervention implementation, effects, and sustainability. Building a system dynamics model based on ethnographic case study has the advantage of using empirically documented contextual factors and processes of change in a real-world and real-time setting that can then be tested in the same and other settings. System dynamics modeling offers great promise for addressing persistent problems like HIV and other sexually transmitted epidemics, particularly in complex rapidly developing countries such as China. We generated a system dynamics model of a multilevel intervention we conducted to promote female condoms for HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention among Chinese women in sex work establishments. The model reflects factors and forces affecting the study's intervention, implementation, and effects. To build this conceptual model, we drew on our experiences and findings from this intensive, longitudinal mixed-ethnographic and quantitative four-town comparative case study (2007-2012) of the sex work establishments, the intervention conducted in them, and factors likely to explain variation in process and outcomes in the four towns. Multiple feedback loops in the sex work establishments, women's social networks, and the health organization responsible for implementing HIV/STI interventions in each town and at the town level directly or indirectly influenced the female condom intervention. We present the conceptual system dynamics model and discuss how further testing in this and other settings can inform future community interventions to reduce HIV and STIs.

  3. Deviation from niche optima affects the nature of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Cheng, Lulu; Hu, Liangliang; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing recognition of the importance of niche optima in the shift of plant-plant interactions along environmental stress gradients. Here, we investigate whether deviation from niche optima would affect the outcome of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient (pH = 3.1, 4.1, 5.5 and 6.1) in a pot experiment. We used the acid-tolerant species Lespedeza formosa Koehne as the neighbouring plant and the acid-tolerant species Indigofera pseudotinctoria Mats. or acid-sensitive species Medicago sativa L. as the target plants. Biomass was used to determine the optimal pH and to calculate the relative interaction index (RII). We found that the relationships between RII and the deviation of soil pH from the target's optimal pH were linear for both target species. Both targets were increasingly promoted by the neighbour as pH values deviated from their optima; neighbours benefitted target plants by promoting soil symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increasing soil organic matter or reducing soil exchangeable aluminium. Our results suggest that the shape of the curve describing the relationship between soil pH and facilitation/competition depends on the soil pH optima of the particular species.

  4. Establishment of clonal myogenic cell lines from severely affected dystrophic muscles - CDK4 maintains the myogenic population

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A hallmark of muscular dystrophies is the replacement of muscle by connective tissue. Muscle biopsies from patients severely affected with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) may contain few myogenic cells. Because the chromosomal contraction at 4q35 linked to FSHD is thought to cause a defect within myogenic cells, it is important to study this particular cell type, rather than the fibroblasts and adipocytes of the endomysial fibrosis, to understand the mechanism leading to myopathy. Results We present a protocol to establish clonal myogenic cell lines from even severely dystrophic muscle that has been replaced mostly by fat, using overexpression of CDK4 and the catalytic component of telomerase (human telomerase reverse transcriptase; hTERT), and a subsequent cloning step. hTERT is necessary to compensate for telomere loss during in vitro cultivation, while CDK4 prevents a telomere-independent growth arrest affecting CD56+ myogenic cells, but not their CD56- counterpart, in vitro. Conclusions These immortal cell lines are valuable tools to reproducibly study the effect of the FSHD mutation within myoblasts isolated from muscles that have been severely affected by the disease, without the confounding influence of variable amounts of contaminating connective-tissue cells. PMID:21798090

  5. Iron deficiency affects plant defence responses and confers resistance to Dickeya dadantii and Botrytis cinerea.

    PubMed

    Kieu, Nam Phuong; Aznar, Aude; Segond, Diego; Rigault, Martine; Simond-Côte, Elizabeth; Kunz, Caroline; Soulie, Marie-Christine; Expert, Dominique; Dellagi, Alia

    2012-10-01

    Iron is an essential element for most living organisms, and pathogens are likely to compete with their hosts for the acquisition of this element. The bacterial plant pathogen Dickeya dadantii has been shown to require its siderophore-mediated iron uptake system for systemic disease progression on several host plants, including Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effect of the iron status of Arabidopsis on the severity of disease caused by D. dadantii. We showed that symptom severity, bacterial fitness and the expression of bacterial pectate lyase-encoding genes were reduced in iron-deficient plants. Reduced symptoms correlated with enhanced expression of the salicylic acid defence plant marker gene PR1. However, levels of the ferritin coding transcript AtFER1, callose deposition and production of reactive oxygen species were reduced in iron-deficient infected plants, ruling out the involvement of these defences in the limitation of disease caused by D. dadantii. Disease reduction in iron-starved plants was also observed with the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea. Our data demonstrate that the plant nutritional iron status can control the outcome of an infection by acting on both the pathogen's virulence and the host's defence. In addition, iron nutrition strongly affects the disease caused by two soft rot-causing plant pathogens with a large host range. Thus, it may be of interest to take into account the plant iron status when there is a need to control disease without compromising crop quality and yield in economically important plant species.

  6. Does host plant quality affect the oviposition decisions of an omnivore?

    PubMed

    Vankosky, Meghan A; VanLaerhoven, Sherah L

    2016-01-22

    Optimal oviposition theory predicts a positive relationship between female preference for oviposition hosts and offspring performance. Interspecies effects on oviposition preference have been widely investigated, especially for herbivores. However, intraspecies variation, such as nitrogen content, might also influence female preference for oviposition hosts and subsequent offspring performance. To evaluate this possibility, we investigated the oviposition preference of a zoophytophagous omnivore and the development and survival of its nymphs on a single species of host plant that varied in nitrogen content. In choice and no-choice experiments without prey, female omnivores were allowed to oviposit on plants that had been fertilized using four rates of nitrogen fertilizer (39, 78, 156 and 311 mg/L nitrogen) for 72 h. After 72 h, the most females were found on tomato plants receiving high concentrations of nitrogen fertilizer and more eggs were laid on those plants. First instar nymphs developed more rapidly on high nitrogen plants and third instar nymphs developed faster on low nitrogen plans. Plant nitrogen did not affect nymph survival to the adult stage, or the probability of survival over time. Although female omnivores did discriminate between potential oviposition hosts based on plant nitrogen, their choices did not significantly impact nymph development or survival. This is the first study to show that intraspecies variation in nitrogen content between plants affects the oviposition preference of female omnivores, but not offspring performance. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  7. The Salicylic Acid-Mediated Release of Plant Volatiles Affects the Host Choice of Bemisia tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xiaobin; Chen, Gong; Tian, Lixia; Peng, Zhengke; Xie, Wen; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Zhou, Xuguo; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B- and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles—especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles. PMID:27376280

  8. Realistic diversity loss and variation in soil depth independently affect community-level plant nitrogen use.

    PubMed

    Selmants, Paul C; Zavaleta, Erika S; Wolf, Amelia A

    2014-01-01

    Numerous experiments have demonstrated that diverse plant communities use nitrogen (N) more completely and efficiently, with implications for how species conservation efforts might influence N cycling and retention in terrestrial ecosystems. However, most such experiments have randomly manipulated species richness and minimized environmental heterogeneity, two design aspects that may reduce applicability to real ecosystems. Here we present results from an experiment directly comparing how realistic and randomized plant species losses affect plant N use across a gradient of soil depth in a native-dominated serpentine grassland in California. We found that the strength of the species richness effect on plant N use did not increase with soil depth in either the realistic or randomized species loss scenarios, indicating that the increased vertical heterogeneity conferred by deeper soils did not lead to greater complementarity among species in this ecosystem. Realistic species losses significantly reduced plant N uptake and altered N-use efficiency, while randomized species losses had no effect on plant N use. Increasing soil depth positively affected plant N uptake in both loss order scenarios but had a weaker effect on plant N use than did realistic species losses. Our results illustrate that realistic species losses can have functional consequences that differ distinctly from randomized losses, and that species diversity effects can be independent of and outweigh those of environmental heterogeneity on ecosystem functioning. Our findings also support the value of conservation efforts aimed at maintaining biodiversity to help buffer ecosystems against increasing anthropogenic N loading.

  9. Costs of establishing northern highbush blueberry in organic systems: impacts of planting method, fertilization, and mulch type

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A systems trial was established to evaluate factorial management practices for organic production of northern highbush blueberry. The practices include: flat and raised planting beds; feather meal and fish emulsion fertilizer applied at 29 and 57 kg/ha N; sawdust mulch, compost topped with sawdust m...

  10. 29 CFR 570.51 - Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Occupations in or about plants or establishments..., mixing, transporting, or handling of explosive compounds in the manufacture of small-arms ammunition and... explosive compounds are manufactured or mixed. (ii) All occupations involved in the...

  11. 29 CFR 570.51 - Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Occupations in or about plants or establishments..., mixing, transporting, or handling of explosive compounds in the manufacture of small-arms ammunition and... explosive compounds are manufactured or mixed. (ii) All occupations involved in the...

  12. 29 CFR 570.51 - Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Occupations in or about plants or establishments..., mixing, transporting, or handling of explosive compounds in the manufacture of small-arms ammunition and... explosive compounds are manufactured or mixed. (ii) All occupations involved in the...

  13. Planting geometry and plant population affect dryland maize grain yield and harvest index

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water for dryland grain production in the Texas panhandle is limited. Agronomic practices such as reduction in plant population or change in sowing time may help increase maize (Zea mays L.) yield potential. Tiller formation under dryland conditions leads to more vegetative growth and reduced yield....

  14. 75 FR 5732 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-04

    ... range of the U.S. population. Four forage enhancement plots, each consisting of a well, pump, pipelines... habitats. There is also the potential for BLM to permit large-scale solar power plants, which would be... adverse effects of solar plants, agricultural leases, highways, or other projects that may...

  15. Deregulation of apoplastic polyamine oxidase affects development and salt response of tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Gémes, Katalin; Mellidou, Ιfigeneia; Karamanoli, Katerina; Beris, Despoina; Park, Ky Young; Matsi, Theodora; Haralampidis, Kosmas; Constantinidou, Helen-Isis; Roubelakis-Angelakis, Kalliopi A

    2017-04-01

    Polyamine (PA) homeostasis is associated with plant development, growth and responses to biotic/abiotic stresses. Apoplastic PA oxidase (PAO) catalyzes the oxidation of PAs contributing to cellular homeostasis of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and PAs. In tobacco, PAs decrease with plant age, while apoplastic PAO activity increases. Our previous results with young transgenic tobacco plants with enhanced/reduced apoplastic PAO activity (S-ZmPAO/AS-ZmPAO, respectively) established the importance of apoplastic PAO in controlling tolerance to short-term salt stress. However, it remains unclear if the apoplastic PAO pathway is important for salt tolerance at later stages of plant development. In this work, we examined whether apoplastic PAO controls also plant development and tolerance of adult plants during long-term salt stress. The AS-ZmPAO plants contained higher Ca(2+) during salt stress, showing also reduced chlorophyll content index (CCI), leaf area and biomass but taller phenotype compared to the wild-type plants during salt. On the contrary, the S-ZmPAO had more leaves with slightly greater size compared to the AS-ZmPAO and higher antioxidant genes/enzyme activities. Accumulation of proline in the roots was evident at prolonged stress and correlated negatively with PAO deregulation as did the transcripts of genes mediating ethylene biosynthesis. In contrast to the strong effect of apoplastic PAO to salt tolerance in young plants described previously, the effect it exerts at later stages of development is rather moderate. However, the different phenotypes observed in plants deregulating PAO reinforce the view that apoplastic PAO exerts multifaceted roles on plant growth and stress responses. Our data suggest that deregulation of the apoplastic PAO can be further examined as a potential approach to breed plants with enhanced/reduced tolerance to abiotic stress with minimal associated trade-offs.

  16. Fusarium Oxysporum Volatiles Enhance Plant Growth Via Affecting Auxin Transport and Signaling.

    PubMed

    Bitas, Vasileios; McCartney, Nathaniel; Li, Ningxiao; Demers, Jill; Kim, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hye-Seon; Brown, Kathleen M; Kang, Seogchan

    2015-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption.

  17. Plant volatiles induced by herbivore egg deposition affect insects of different trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Fatouros, Nina E; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Pashalidou, Foteini G; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant's volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels.

  18. Fusarium Oxysporum Volatiles Enhance Plant Growth Via Affecting Auxin Transport and Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bitas, Vasileios; McCartney, Nathaniel; Li, Ningxiao; Demers, Jill; Kim, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hye-Seon; Brown, Kathleen M.; Kang, Seogchan

    2015-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption. PMID:26617587

  19. Ozone affects growth and development of Pieris brassicae on the wild host plant Brassica nigra.

    PubMed

    Khaling, Eliezer; Papazian, Stefano; Poelman, Erik H; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Albrectsen, Benedicte R; Blande, James D

    2015-04-01

    When plants are exposed to ozone they exhibit changes in both primary and secondary metabolism, which may affect their interactions with herbivorous insects. Here we investigated the performance and preferences of the specialist herbivore Pieris brassicae on the wild plant Brassica nigra under elevated ozone conditions. The direct and indirect effects of ozone on the plant-herbivore system were studied. In both cases ozone exposure had a negative effect on P. brassicae development. However, in dual-choice tests larvae preferentially consumed plant material previously fumigated with the highest concentration tested, showing a lack of correlation between larval preference and performance on ozone exposed plants. Metabolomic analysis of leaf material subjected to combinations of ozone and herbivore-feeding, and focussing on known defence metabolites, indicated that P. brassicae behaviour and performance were associated with ozone-induced alterations to glucosinolate and phenolic pools.

  20. Bacillus pumilus ES4: candidate plant growth-promoting bacterium to enhance establishment of plants in mine tailings

    PubMed Central

    de-Bashan, Luz E.; Hernandez, Juan-Pablo; Bashan, Yoav; Maier, Raina

    2014-01-01

    Three plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB; Bacillus pumilus ES4, B. pumilus RIZO1, and Azospirillum brasilense Cd) were tested for their ability to enhance plant growth and development of the native Sonoran Desert shrub quailbush (Atriplex lentiformis) and for their effect on the native bacterial community in moderately acidic, high-metal content (AHMT) and in neutral, low metal content natural tailings (NLMT) in controlled greenhouse experiments. Inoculation of quailbush with all three PGPB significantly enhanced plant growth parameters, such as germination, root length, dry weight of shoots and roots, and root/shoot ratio in both types of tailings. The effect of inoculation on the indigenous bacterial community by the most successful PGPB Bacillus pumilus ES4 was evaluated by denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) fingerprinting and root colonization was followed by specific fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Inoculation with this strain significantly changed the bacterial community over a period of 60 days. FISH analysis showed that the preferred site of colonization was the root tips and root elongation area. This study shows that inoculation of native perennial plants with PGPB can be used for developing technologies for phytostabilizing mine tailings. PMID:25009362

  1. Tête à tête inside a plant cell: establishing compatibility between plants and biotrophic fungi and oomycetes.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Richard J; Panstruga, Ralph

    2006-01-01

    'Compatibility' describes the complementary relationship between a plant species and an adapted pathogen species that underlies susceptibility and which ultimately results in disease. Owing to elaborate surveillance systems and defence mechanisms on the plant side and a common lack of adaptation of many microbial pathogens, resistance is the rule and compatibility the exception for most plant-microbe combinations. While there has been major scientific interest in 'resistance' in the past decade, which has revealed many of its underlying molecular components, the analysis of 'compatibility', although intimately intertwined with 'resistance', has not been pursued with a similar intensity. Various recent studies, however, provide a first glimpse of the pivotal players and potential molecular mechanisms essential for compatibility in both the plant and parasite partners. In this review we highlight these findings with a particular emphasis on obligate biotrophic and hemibiotrophic fungal and oomycete pathogens and discuss novel strategies that might help to uncover further the molecular principles underlying compatibility to these highly specialized pathogens.

  2. Bacillus pumilus ES4: candidate plant growth-promoting bacterium to enhance establishment of plants in mine tailings.

    PubMed

    de-Bashan, Luz E; Hernandez, Juan-Pablo; Bashan, Yoav; Maier, Raina

    2010-12-01

    Three plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB; Bacillus pumilus ES4, B. pumilus RIZO1, and Azospirillum brasilense Cd) were tested for their ability to enhance plant growth and development of the native Sonoran Desert shrub quailbush (Atriplex lentiformis) and for their effect on the native bacterial community in moderately acidic, high-metal content (AHMT) and in neutral, low metal content natural tailings (NLMT) in controlled greenhouse experiments. Inoculation of quailbush with all three PGPB significantly enhanced plant growth parameters, such as germination, root length, dry weight of shoots and roots, and root/shoot ratio in both types of tailings. The effect of inoculation on the indigenous bacterial community by the most successful PGPB Bacillus pumilus ES4 was evaluated by denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) fingerprinting and root colonization was followed by specific fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Inoculation with this strain significantly changed the bacterial community over a period of 60 days. FISH analysis showed that the preferred site of colonization was the root tips and root elongation area. This study shows that inoculation of native perennial plants with PGPB can be used for developing technologies for phytostabilizing mine tailings.

  3. 75 FR 32727 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-09

    ...; Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental Population of Sonoran Pronghorn in Southwestern Arizona AGENCY... the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and to classify that reestablished population as a nonessential experimental population (NEP). The proposed rule provided a plan for establishing...

  4. Rapid plant-cover establishment on gold mine tailings in southern New Zealand: glasshouse screening trials.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, K; Rufaut, C G; Smith, C; Mains, D; Craw, D

    2005-01-01

    The use of a short-term vegetation cover to temporarily control the negative environmental effects of inactive tailings ponds is notfrequently practiced during operational mining, but could have some merit This article reports on a glasshouse trial designed to examine some of the issues associated with short-term vegetation: fast germination of a high proportion of seed, the ability of seedlings to survive in unamended substrates, and potentially toxic substrate. Five nonindigenous plant species were tested--barley (Hordeum vulgare), rye corn (Secale cereale), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multifiorum), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and lucerne (Medicago sativa)--in five different types of substrate: unamended tailings, tailings and fertilizer, tailings and greenwaste, biosolid-blend compost, and local topsoil. The nutrient and heavy metal status (As, Cu, Cd, Ni, Pb) of each substrate type was determined Plant species performance was monitored over 14 wk Substrate metal concentrations were low except for As, which was elevated in all substrate types. Plants in unamended tailings grew less vigorously than plants in tailings and compost or in topsoil. Plant performance in tailings and fertiliser was greatly suppressed following a high fertilization rate. Metal uptake in plants was highest for As (0.4-77 mg kg(-1) DW) and Cu (5.3-50.3 mg kg(-1) DW). Future field trials are necessary to authenticate findings, but barley and rye corn are promising species for a short-term tailings cover.

  5. openSputnik--a database to ESTablish comparative plant genomics using unsaturated sequence collections.

    PubMed

    Rudd, Stephen

    2005-01-01

    The public expressed sequence tag collections are continually being enriched with high-quality sequences that represent an ever-expanding range of taxonomically diverse plant species. While these sequence collections provide biased insight into the populations of expressed genes available within individual species and their associated tissues, the information is conceivably of wider relevance in a comparative context. When we consider the available expressed sequence tag (EST) collections of summer 2004, most of the major plant taxonomic clades are at least superficially represented. Investigation of the five million available plant ESTs provides a wealth of information that has applications in modelling the routes of plant genome evolution and the identification of lineage-specific genes and gene families. Over four million ESTs from over 50 distinct plant species have been collated within an EST analysis pipeline called openSputnik. The ESTs were resolved down into approximately one million unigene sequences. These have been annotated using orthology-based annotation transfer from reference plant genomes and using a variety of contemporary bioinformatics methods to assign peptide, structural and functional attributes. The openSputnik database is available at http://sputnik.btk.fi.

  6. Plant Volatiles Induced by Herbivore Egg Deposition Affect Insects of Different Trophic Levels

    PubMed Central

    Fatouros, Nina E.; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T.; Pashalidou, Foteini G.; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E.

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant’s volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  7. Relative abundance of an invasive alien plant affects insect-flower interaction networks in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Jane C.; Casey, Leanne M.

    2014-02-01

    Invasive alien flowering plants may affect native plant pollinator interactions and have knock on impacts on populations of native plants and animals. The magnitude of these impacts, however, may be modified by the relative abundance of the invasive plant and the number of flowers it presents.We tested this by examining the structure of insect-flower interaction networks in six sites with increasing levels of invasion by Rhododendron ponticum in Ireland.Neither flower-visiting insect abundance, species richness nor diversity were related to R. ponticum flower abundance, but the composition of insect communities was. The total number of flowers in a site increased with the relative abundance of R. ponticum flowers but the number of co-flowering native plant species in these sites was low (<6), making interaction networks relatively small.As a result, changes in interaction network properties (connectance, interaction evenness and network level specialisation), which correlated with R. ponticum flower abundance, were a result of the small network size rather than due to changes in the resilience of networks.Overall, we conclude that the impacts of invasive alien plants on native plant-pollinator interactions are not only species specific, but site specific, according to the abundance of flowers produced by both the invasive and the native plants.

  8. Inoculation of Transgenic Resistant Potato by Phytophthora infestans Affects Host Plant Choice of a Generalist Moth.

    PubMed

    Abreha, Kibrom B; Alexandersson, Erik; Vossen, Jack H; Anderson, Peter; Andreasson, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Pathogen attack and the plant's response to this attack affect herbivore oviposition preference and larval performance. Introduction of major resistance genes against Phytophthora infestans (Rpi-genes), the cause of the devastating late blight disease, from wild Solanum species into potato changes the plant-pathogen interaction dynamics completely, but little is known about the effects on non-target organisms. Thus, we examined the effect of P. infestans itself and introduction of an Rpi-gene into the crop on host plant preference of the generalist insect herbivore, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). In two choice bioassays, S. littoralis preferred to oviposit on P. infestans-inoculated plants of both the susceptible potato (cv. Desiree) and an isogenic resistant clone (A01-22: cv. Desiree transformed with Rpi-blb1), when compared to uninoculated plants of the same genotype. Both cv. Desiree and clone A01-22 were equally preferred for oviposition by S. littoralis when uninoculated plants were used, while cv. Desiree received more eggs compared to the resistant clone when both were inoculated with the pathogen. No significant difference in larval and pupal weight was found between S. littoralis larvae reared on leaves of the susceptible potato plants inoculated or uninoculated with P. infestans. Thus, the herbivore's host plant preference in this system was not directly associated with larval performance. The results indicate that the Rpi-blb1 based resistance in itself does not influence insect behavior, but that herbivore oviposition preference is affected by a change in the plant-microbe interaction.

  9. Methane transport and emissions from soil as affected by water table and vascular plants

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The important greenhouse gas (GHG) methane is produced naturally in anaerobic wetland soils. By affecting the production, oxidation and transport of methane to the atmosphere, plants have a major influence upon the quantities emitted by wetlands. Different species and functional plant groups have been shown to affect these processes differently, but our knowledge about how these effects are influenced by abiotic factors such as water regime and temperature remains limited. Here we present a mesocosm experiment comparing eight plant species for their effects on internal transport and overall emissions of methane under contrasting hydrological conditions. To quantify how much methane was transported internally through plants (the chimney effect), we blocked diffusion from the soil surface with an agar seal. Results We found that graminoids caused higher methane emissions than forbs, although the emissions from mesocosms with different species were either lower than or comparable to those from control mesocosms with no plant (i.e. bare soil). Species with a relatively greater root volume and a larger biomass exhibited a larger chimney effect, though overall methane emissions were negatively related to plant biomass. Emissions were also reduced by lowering the water table. Conclusions We conclude that plant species (and functional groups) vary in the degree to which they transport methane to the atmosphere. However, a plant with a high capacity to transport methane does not necessarily emit more methane, as it may also cause more rhizosphere oxidation of methane. A shift in plant species composition from graminoids to forbs and/or from low to high productive species may lead to reduction of methane emissions. PMID:24010540

  10. Soil particle heterogeneity affects the growth of a rhizomatous wetland plant.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lin; Dong, Bi-Cheng; Xue, Wei; Peng, Yi-Ke; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2013-01-01

    Soil is commonly composed of particles of different sizes, and soil particle size may greatly affect the growth of plants because it affects soil physical and chemical properties. However, no study has tested the effects of soil particle heterogeneity on the growth of clonal plants. We conducted a greenhouse experiment in which individual ramets of the wetland plant Bolboschoenus planiculmis were grown in three homogeneous soil treatments with uniformly sized quartz particles (small: 0.75 mm, medium: 1.5 mm, or large: 3 mm), one homogeneous treatment with an even mixture of large and medium particles, and two heterogeneous treatments consisting of 16 or 4 patches of large and medium particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and spacer length were significantly greater in the treatment with only medium particles than in the one with only large particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and tuber number in the patchy treatments were greater in patches of medium than of large particles; this difference was more pronounced when patches were small than when they were large. Soil particle size and soil particle heterogeneity can greatly affect the growth of clonal plants. Thus, studies to test the effects of soil heterogeneity on clonal plants should distinguish the effects of nutrient heterogeneity from those of particle heterogeneity.

  11. Poisonous plants affecting the central nervous system of horses in Brazil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poisoning by Indigofera pascuori was recently reported in horses in the state of Roraima. It causes chronic signs of sleepiness, unsteady gait, severe ataxia, and progressive weight loss. Some animals are blind. Young horses are more affected than adults. After the end of plant consumption the anima...

  12. Exogenous abscisic acid significantly affects proteome in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) exposed to drought stress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important economic crop, and drought is the most important abiotic stress affecting yield and quality. Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone responsible for activating drought resistance. Increased understanding of ABA effects on tea plant unde...

  13. Effects of Soil Characteristics, Allelopathy and Frugivory on Establishment of the Invasive Plant Carpobrotus edulis and a Co-Occuring Native, Malcolmia littorea

    PubMed Central

    Novoa, Ana; González, Luís; Moravcová, Lenka; Pyšek, Petr

    2012-01-01

    Background The species Carpobrotus edulis, native to South Africa, is one of the major plant invaders of Mediterranean coastal ecosystems around the world. Invasion by C. edulis exerts a great impact on coastal habitats. The low number of native species in invaded communities points to the possible existence of mechanisms suppressing their germination. In this study we assessed whether soil factors, endozoochory, competition and allelopathic effects of the invader affect its own early establishment and that of the native species Malcolmia littorea. We used laboratory solutions representing different chemical composition and moisture of the soil, herbivore feeding assays to simulate seed scarification and rainwater solutions to account for the effect of differently aged C. edulis litter. Principal Findings We show that unlike that of the native species, germination and early growth of C. edulis was not constrained by low moisture. The establishment of C. edulis, in terms of germination and early growth, was increased by scarification of seeds following passage through the European rabbit intestines; the rabbits therefore may have potential implications for plant establishment. There was no competition between C. edulis and M. littorea. The litter of the invasive C. edulis, which remains on the soil surface for several years, releases allelopathic substances that suppress the native plant germination process and early root growth. Conclusions The invasive species exhibits features that likely make it a better colonizer of sand dunes than the co-occurring native species. Allelopathic effects, ability to establish in drier microsites and efficient scarification by rabbits are among the mechanisms allowing C. edulis to invade. The results help to explain the failure of removal projects that have been carried out in order to restore dunes invaded by C. edulis, and the long-lasting effects of C. edulis litter need to be taken into account in future restoration projects

  14. Feasibility of establishing a 100-ton per day sunflower seed crushing plant at Clifford, North Dakota

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-10-01

    Considerable interest is currently being shown in the concept of local processing of agricultural products. The production of sunflowers in North Dakota has shown tremendous growth over the past years. Cash receipts from sunflowers have made it the second most important cash crop in the state. It is felt that the plant can be justified as an energy producing facility. A sunflower crushing plant has to be feasible when competing as a producer of oil within traditional markets. The use of the oil as a source of energy is to be considered as an intangible benefit to the community, if sunflower oil is found to be an acceptable fuel.

  15. 78 FR 4108 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Establishment of a Nonessential...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-18

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 RIN 1018-AW57 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.... Biological Members of the family Bovidae, wood bison are the largest native terrestrial mammal in the western... Northwest Territories, and northern Alberta and British Columbia in Canada (Stephenson et al. 2001, pp....

  16. Establishment of a genetically marked insect-derived symbiont in multiple host plants.

    PubMed

    Bextine, Blake; Lampe, David; Lauzon, Carol; Jackson, Brian; Miller, Thomas A

    2005-01-01

    Alcaligenes xylosoxidans subsp. denitrificans, originally isolated from the cibarial region of the foregut of the glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata), was transformed using the Himar1 transposition system to express EGFP. Seedlings of six potential host plants were inoculated with transformed bacteria and 2 weeks later samples were taken 5 cm away and analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR using primers designed to amplify the gene insert. The largest colony of 3,591,427 cells/2 cm of A. xylosoxidans subsp. denitrificans was found in Citrus limon, with almost all plants testing positive in both trials. The amount of colonization decreased in the other plants tested in the following order: orange (Citrus sinensis "sweet orange") > chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum grandiflora cv. "White Diamond") > periwinkle (Vinca rosea) > crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) > grapevine (Vitis vinifera cv. Chardonnay). The bacterium's preference for citrus paralleled the host insect's preference for this same plant. Additional tests determined that A. xylosoxidans subsp. denitrificans thrives as a nonpathogenic, xylem-associated endophyte.

  17. Using carbon-13 to establish the biosynthesis of the plant toxin fusaric acid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum (F.o.v.) attacks cotton, alfalfa and okra. The recent discovery of new pathotypes (race 4) not previously found in the U.S. is of particular concern to the cotton industry, as is the inadvertent introduction of a unique and particularly virul...

  18. Establish the biosynthesis of the plant toxin Fusaric Acid using non-radio labeled precursors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum (F.o.v.) race 1 is a widespread plant pathogen that attacks cotton, alfalfa and okra in the U.S. The recent discovery of races 3 and 4 not previously found in the U.S. is of particular concern to the cotton industry. In addition, a similar but more virulent bi...

  19. 76 FR 36896 - Notice of Establishment of a New Plant Protection and Quarantine Stakeholder Registry

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-23

    ... email subscription service and advises current subscribers on how to continue receiving emails on topics... to receive information about PPQ activities on a variety of plant health topics. PPQ has redesigned... Stakeholder Registry in order to continue receiving emails on PPQ-related topics. Subscribers will be able...

  20. The role of flavonoids in the establishment of plant roots endosymbioses with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi, rhizobia and Frankia bacteria.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Lateif, Khalid; Bogusz, Didier; Hocher, Valérie

    2012-06-01

    Flavonoids are a group of secondary metabolites derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway. They are ubiquitous in the plant kingdom and have many diverse functions including key roles at different levels of root endosymbioses. While there is a lot of information on the role of particular flavonoids in the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, yet their exact role during the establishment of arbuscular mycorrhiza and actinorhizal symbioses still remains unclear. Within the context of the latest data suggesting a common symbiotic signaling pathway for both plant-fungal and plant bacterial endosymbioses between legumes and actinorhiza-forming fagales, this mini-review highlights some of the recent studies on the three major types of root endosymbioses. Implication of the molecular knowledge of endosymbioses signaling and genetic manipulation of flavonoid biosynthetic pathway on the development of strategies for the transfer and optimization of nodulation are also discussed.

  1. The role of flavonoids in the establishment of plant roots endosymbioses with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi, rhizobia and Frankia bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Abdel-Lateif, Khalid; Bogusz, Didier; Hocher, Valérie

    2012-01-01

    Flavonoids are a group of secondary metabolites derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway. They are ubiquitous in the plant kingdom and have many diverse functions including key roles at different levels of root endosymbioses. While there is a lot of information on the role of particular flavonoids in the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis, yet their exact role during the establishment of arbuscular mycorrhiza and actinorhizal symbioses still remains unclear. Within the context of the latest data suggesting a common symbiotic signaling pathway for both plant-fungal and plant bacterial endosymbioses between legumes and actinorhiza-forming fagales, this mini-review highlights some of the recent studies on the three major types of root endosymbioses. Implication of the molecular knowledge of endosymbioses signaling and genetic manipulation of flavonoid biosynthetic pathway on the development of strategies for the transfer and optimization of nodulation are also discussed. PMID:22580697

  2. 4-Methylthiobutyl isothiocyanate (Erucin) from rocket plant dichotomously affects the activity of human immunocompetent cells.

    PubMed

    Gründemann, Carsten; Garcia-Käufer, Manuel; Lamy, Evelyn; Hanschen, Franziska S; Huber, Roman

    2015-03-15

    Isothiocyanates (ITC) from the Brassicaceae plant family are regarded as promising for prevention and treatment of cancer. However, experimental settings consider their therapeutic action without taking into account the risk of unwanted effects on healthy tissues. In the present study we investigated the effects of Eruca sativa seed extract containing MTBITC (Erucin) and pure Erucin from rocket plant on healthy cells of the human immune system in vitro. Hereby, high doses of the plant extract as well as of Erucin inhibited cell viability of human lymphocytes via induction of apoptosis to comparable amounts. Non-toxic low concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin altered the expression of the interleukin (IL)-2 receptor but did not affect further T cell activation, proliferation and the release of the effector molecules interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-2 of T-lymphocytes. However, the activity of NK-cells was significantly reduced by non-toxic concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin. These results indicate that the plant extract and pure Erucin interfere with the function of human T lymphocytes and decreases the activity of NK-cells in comparable concentrations. Long-term clinical studies with ITC-enriched plant extracts from Brassicaceae should take this into account.

  3. Quantification of Heavy Metals in Mining Affected Soil and Their Bioaccumulation in Native Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Khan, Kifayatullah; Huang, Qing; Ali, Roshan

    2015-01-01

    Several anthropogenic and natural sources are considered as the primary sources of toxic metals in the environment. The current study investigates the level of heavy metals contamination in the flora associated with serpentine soil along the Mafic and Ultramafic rocks northern-Pakistan. Soil and wild native plant species were collected from chromites mining affected areas and analyzed for heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu and Zn) using atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS-PEA-700). The heavy metal concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in mine affected soil as compared to reference soil, however Cr and Ni exceeded maximum allowable limit (250 and 60 mg kg(-1), respectively) set by SEPA for soil. Inter-metal correlations between soil, roots and shoots showed that the sources of contamination of heavy metals were mainly associated with chromites mining. All the plant species accumulated significantly higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to reference plant. The open dumping of mine wastes can create serious problems (food crops and drinking water contamination with heavy metals) for local community of the study area. The native wild plant species (Nepeta cataria, Impatiens bicolor royle, Tegetis minuta) growing on mining affected sites may be used for soil reclamation contaminated with heavy metals.

  4. Plant sterols: factors affecting their efficacy and safety as functional food ingredients

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Alvin; Jones, Peter JH; Abumweis, Suhad S

    2004-01-01

    Plant sterols are naturally occurring molecules that humanity has evolved with. Herein, we have critically evaluated recent literature pertaining to the myriad of factors affecting efficacy and safety of plant sterols in free and esterified forms. We conclude that properly solubilized 4-desmetyl plant sterols, in ester or free form, in reasonable doses (0.8–1.0 g of equivalents per day) and in various vehicles including natural sources, and as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, are important dietary components for lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and maintaining good heart health. In addition to their cholesterol lowering properties, plant sterols possess anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenicity, and anti-oxidation activities, and should thus be of clinical importance, even for those individuals without elevated LDL cholesterol. The carotenoid lowering effect of plant sterols should be corrected by increasing intake of food that is rich in carotenoids. In pregnant and lactating women and children, further study is needed to verify the dose required to decrease blood cholesterol without affecting fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid status. PMID:15070410

  5. Metal/metalloid fixation by litter during decomposition affected by silicon availability during plant growth.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg

    2013-03-01

    Organic matter is known to accumulate high amounts of metals/metalloids, enhanced during the process of decomposition by heterotrophic biofilms (with high fixation capacity for metals/metalloids). The colonization by microbes and the decay rate of the organic matter depends on different litter properties. Main litter properties affecting the decomposition of organic matter such as the nutrient ratios and the content of cellulose, lignin and phenols are currently described to be changed by silicon availability. But less is known about the impact of silicon availability during plant growth on elemental fixation during decay. Hence, this research focuses on the impact of silicon availability during plant growth on fixation of 42 elements during litter decay, by controlling the litter properties. The results of this experiment are a significantly higher metal/metalloid accumulation during decomposition of plant litter grown under low silicon availability. This may be explained by the altered litter properties (mainly nutrient content) affecting the microbial decomposition of the litter, the microbial growth on the litter and possibly by the silicon double layer, which is evident in leaf litter with high silicon content and reduces the binding sites for metals/metalloids. Furthermore, this silicon double layer may also reduce the growing biofilm by reducing the availability of carbon compounds at the litter surface and has to be elucidated in further research. Hence, low silicon availability during plant growth enhances the metal/metalloid accumulation into plant litter during aquatic decomposition.

  6. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L. Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-01-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits. PMID:25240065

  7. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-12-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits.

  8. Role of mycorrhizal colonization in plant establishment on an alkaline gold mine tailing.

    PubMed

    Orłowska, Elzbieta; Orłowski, Dariusz; Mesjasz-Przybyłowicz, Jolanta; Turnau, Katarzyna

    2011-02-01

    The potential role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the revegetation of an alkaline gold mine tailing was studied in Barberton, South Africa. The tailing, characterized by a slow spontaneous plant succession, is colonized by the shrub Dodonaea viscosa and the grasses, Andropogon eucomus and Imperata cylindrica, all colonized by AMF. The effectiveness of mycorrhizal colonization in grasses was tested under laboratory conditions using fungal isolates of various origins. Both grasses were highly mycorrhiza dependent, and the presence of mycorrhizal colonization significantly increased their biomass and survival rates. The fungi originating from the gold tailing were better adapted to the special conditions of the tailing than the control isolate. Although the total colonization rate found for native fungi was lower than for fungi from non-polluted sites, they were more vital and more effective in promoting plant growth. The results obtained might serve as a practical approach to the phytostabilization of alkaline gold tailings.

  9. EVALUATION OF LITERATURE ESTABLISHING SCREENING LEVELS FOR TERRESTRIAL PLANTS/INVERTEBRATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scientific publications often lack key information on experimental design or do not follow appropriate test methods and therefore cannot be used in deriving reliable benchmarks. Risk based soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) are being established for chemicals of concern to terrestr...

  10. The ABC's required for establishing a practical computerized plant engineering management data base system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maiocco, F. R.; Hume, J. P.

    1976-01-01

    A system's approach is outlined in the paper to assist facility and Plant Engineers improve their organization's data management system. The six basic steps identified may appear somewhat simple; however, adequate planning, proper resources, and the involvement of management will determine the success of a computerized facility management data base. Helpful suggestions are noted throughout the paper to insure the development of a practical computerized data management system.

  11. Salicylic acid negatively affects the response to salt stress in pea plants.

    PubMed

    Barba-Espín, G; Clemente-Moreno, M J; Alvarez, S; García-Legaz, M F; Hernández, J A; Díaz-Vivancos, P

    2011-11-01

    We studied the effect of salicylic acid (SA) treatment on the response of pea plants to salinity. Sodium chloride (NaCl)-induced damage to leaves was increased by SA, which was correlated with a reduction in plant growth. The content of reduced ascorbate and glutathione in leaves of salt-treated plants increased in response to SA, although accumulation of the respective oxidised forms occurred. An increase in hydrogen peroxide also occurred in leaves of salt-exposed plants treated with SA. In the absence of NaCl, SA increased ascorbate peroxidase (APX; 100 μm) and glutathione-S transferase (GST; 50 μm) activities and increased catalase (CAT) activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Salinity decreased glutathione reductase (GR) activity, but increased GST and CAT activity. In salt-stressed plants, SA also produced changes in antioxidative enzymes: 100 μm SA decreased APX but increased GST. Finally, a concentration-dependent increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was induced by SA treatment in salt-stressed plants. Induction of PR-1b was observed in NaCl-stressed plants treated with SA. The treatment with SA, as well as the interaction between salinity and SA treatment, had a significant effect on PsMAPK3 expression. The expression of PsMAPK3 was not altered by 70 mm NaCl, but was statistically higher in the absence than in the presence of SA. Overall, the results show that SA treatment negatively affected the response of pea plants to NaCl, and this response correlated with an imbalance in antioxidant metabolism. The data also show that SA treatment could enhance the resistance of salt-stressed plants to possible opportunistic pathogen attack, as suggested by increased PR-1b gene expression.

  12. Phytostabilization of gold mine tailings, New Zealand. Part 1: Plant establishment in alkaline saline substrate.

    PubMed

    Mains, D; Craw, D; Rufaut, C G; Smith, C M S

    2006-01-01

    Tailings from the Macraes mine, southern New Zealand, are prone to wind erosion. Use of a vegetation cover for physical stabilization is one potential solution to this environmental problem. This study used field trials contained in lysimeters to 1), test the ability of different plant species to grow in un/amended tailings and 2), provide background information on the nutrient and chemical content of waters in tailings. Barley (Hordeum vulgare), blue lupin (Lupinus angustifolius), and rye corn (Secale cereale) were trialed, using Superphosphate fertilizer and sewage sludge as amendments. Rye corn grew well in fertilizer-amended tailings, but poorly in unamended tailings; barley growth was similar in amended and unamended tailings; blue lupins grew poorly overall The tailings had alkaline pH (7-8.5) and water rapidly (< 1 mo) interacted with the tailings to become strongly saline. Minor acid generation was neutralized by calcite, with associated release of calcium and carbonate ions. Leachate waters were supersaturated with respect to calcite and dolomite. Dissolved sodium concentrations were up to 1000 mg L(-1), but elevated Ca2+ calcium and Mg2+ ensured that sodicity was lower than plant-toxic levels. Rye corn is a potentially useful plant for rapid phytostabilization of tailings, with only minor phosphate amendment required.

  13. Planting richness affects the recovery of vegetation and soil processes in constructed wetlands following disturbance.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Noe, Gregory B

    2017-02-01

    The resilience of constructed wetland ecosystems to severe disturbance, such as a mass herbivory eat-out or soil disturbance, remains poorly understood. In this study, we use a controlled mesocosm experiment to examine how original planting diversity affects the ability of constructed freshwater wetlands to recover structurally and functionally after a disturbance (i.e., aboveground harvesting and soil coring). We assessed if the planting richness of macrophyte species influences recovery of constructed wetlands one year after a disturbance. Mesocosms were planted in richness groups with various combinations of either 1, 2, 3, or 4 species (RG 1-4) to create a gradient of richness. Structural wetland traits measured include morphological regrowth of macrophytes, soil bulk density, soil moisture, soil %C, and soil %N. Functional wetland traits measured include above ground biomass production, soil potential denitrification, and soil potential microbial respiration. Total mesocosm cover increased along the gradient of plant richness (43.5% in RG 1 to 84.5% in RG 4) in the growing season after the disturbance, although not all planted individuals recovered. This was largely attributed to the dominance of the obligate annual species. The morphology of each species was affected negatively by the disturbance, producing shorter, and fewer stems than in the years prior to the disturbance, suggesting that the communities had not fully recovered one year after the disturbance. Soil characteristics were almost uniform across the planting richness gradient, but for a few exceptions (%C, C:N, and non-growing season soil moisture were higher slightly in RG 2). Denitrification potential (DEA) increased with increasing planting richness and was influenced by the abundance and quality of soil C. Increased open space in unplanted mesocosms and mesocosms with lower species richness increased labile C, leading to higher C mineralization rates.

  14. Growth, nitrogen uptake and flow in maize plants affected by root growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Xu, Liangzheng; Niu, Junfang; Li, Chunjian; Zhang, Fusuo

    2009-07-01

    The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of a reduced maize root-system size on root growth and nitrogen (N) uptake and flow within plants. Restriction of shoot-borne root growth caused a strong decrease in the absorption of root: shoot dry weight ratio and a reduction in shoot growth. On the other hand, compensatory growth and an increased N uptake rate in the remaining roots were observed. Despite the limited long-distance transport pathway in the mesocotyl with restriction of shoot-borne root growth, N cycling within these plants was higher than those in control plants, implying that xylem and phloem flow velocities via the mesocotyl were considerably higher than in plants with an intact root system. The removal of the seminal roots in addition to restricting shoot-borne root development did not affect whole plant growth and N uptake, except for the stronger compensatory growth of the primary roots. Our results suggest that an adequate N supply to maize plant is maintained by compensatory growth of the remaining roots, increased N uptake rate and flow velocities within the xylem and phloem via the mesocotyl, and reduction in the shoot growth rate.

  15. Dioecy, more than monoecy, affects plant spatial genetic structure: the case study of Ficus

    PubMed Central

    Nazareno, Alison G; Alzate-Marin, Ana L; Pereira, Rodrigo Augusto S

    2013-01-01

    In this analysis, we attempt to understand how monoecy and dioecy drive spatial genetic structure (SGS) in plant populations. For this purpose, plants of the genus Ficus were used as a comparative model due to their particular characteristics, including high species diversity, variation in life histories, and sexual systems. One of the main issues we assessed is whether dioecious fig tree populations are more spatially genetically structured than monoecious populations. Using the Sp statistic, which allows for quantitative comparisons among different studies, we compared the extent of SGS between monoecious and dioecious Ficus species. To broaden our conclusions we used published data on an additional 27 monoecious and dioecious plant species. Furthermore, genetic diversity analyses were performed for two monoecious Ficus species using 12 microsatellite markers in order to strengthen our conclusions about SGS. Our results show that dioecy, more than monoecy, significantly contributes to SGS in plant populations. On average, the estimate of Sp was six times higher for dioecious Ficus species than monoecious Ficus species and it was two times higher in dioecious than monoecious plant species. Considering these results, we emphasize that the long-distance pollen dispersal mechanism in monoecious Ficus species seems to be the dominant factor in determining weak spatial genetic structure, high levels of genetic diversity, and lack of inbreeding. Although Ficus constitute a model species to study SGS, a more general comparison encompassing a wider range of plants is required in order to better understand how sexual systems affect genetic structure. PMID:24223285

  16. Failure of Aedes albopictus to overwinter following introduction and seasonal establishment at a tire recycling plant in the northeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Andreadis, Theodore G

    2009-03-01

    In July 2006, an introduction of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, was documented for the first time at a commercial tire recycling plant in northeastern Connecticut, USA. The introduction likely occurred via transport of infested tires originating from northern New Jersey or metropolitan New York City. Efforts were made to determine seasonal establishment and overwintering success by assessing adult biting and oviposition activity in the surrounding woodlands. The first adult female was collected in a CO2-baited Mosquito Magnet Liberty trap within the confines of the tire plant during the week of July 28. Additional females were collected intermittently thereafter through October 16. Host-seeking female Ae. albopictus attempting to alight on human subjects and larvae hatching from eggs collected in ovitraps placed in the woodlands surrounding the tire plant were detected weekly from August 21 through October 2, denoting seasonal establishment in the adjoining woodlands. However, no larvae of Ae. albopictus were recovered from eggs collected in ovitraps that were placed in the surrounding woodlands or in traps placed 1.0-1.6 km away, nor were any host-seeking females detected by human subjects the following season (July to October 2007), indicating that the species did not survive winter conditions to enable successful colonization. The failure of Ae. albopictus to overwinter and establish itself in the forested woodlands following several weeks of seasonal breeding and oviposition during the summer and early fall were most likely due to winter egg mortality, interspecific competition from Aedes triseriatus and Aedes japonicus, and/or other ecological barriers. Permanent establishment of Ae. albopictus in New England is unlikely despite the recurring importation of infested used tires into recycling facilities. However, continued monitoring of such facilities for potential reinvasion is warranted especially in urban/suburban environs where global warming

  17. A Proposal for Establishing a Free Market Basis for Plant Genome Information Exchange

    SciTech Connect

    Slezak, T.

    2001-09-26

    The current situation of genomics information exchange is reminiscent of some Third World cities, where residents despair they will ever get official utility service and therefore tap into power, phone, and gas sources with makeshift connections. Thus, each genomics grant spawns yet another idiosyncratic Web site, with makeshift links to whatever random Web sites the PI is most familiar with. There are few standards for semantics of data, and fewer standards for automating the interchange or integration of these autonomous Web sites. The US Plant Genome Initiative (PGI) has been enthusiastic contributor to this proliferation of chaotic Web sites, but to its credit it appears to be the first major program to attempt to find a solution. Some of us from the earliest days of the Human Genome Program have been acutely aware of the problems of genomic data integration, since long before the Web appeared and made the problem exponentially harder to resolve. We have seen large scale attempts, and subsequent failures or inadequacies, of many potential solution approaches (i.e., database federation, classical data warehousing, centralized data, etc.) and believe we know at least some of the reasons they still remain inadequate. It is our opinion that the only solution that has a chance of succeeding is one that considers the overall economics of genomics data production, sharing, and integration. We believe that attempting to create a kind of Free Market for data created under the Plant Genome Initiative will represent the most practical, powerful, and cost-effective approach to dealing with the broad range of plant genome information that has been unleashed.

  18. Khazar Iodine Production Plant Site Remediation in Turkmenistan. NORM Contaminated Waste Repository Establishment - 12398

    SciTech Connect

    Gelbutovskiy, Alexander B.; Cheremisin, Peter I.; Troshev, Alexander V.; Egorov, Alexander J.; Boriskin, Mikhail M.; Bogod, Mikhail A.

    2012-07-01

    Radiation safety provisions for NORM contaminated areas are in use in a number of the former Soviet republics. Some of these areas were formed by absorbed radionuclides at the iodine and bromine extraction sites. As a rule, there are not any plant radiation monitoring systems nor appropriate services to ensure personnel, population and environmental radiation safety. The most hazardous sites are those which are situated in the Caspian Sea coastal zone. The bulk of the accumulated waste is represented by a loose mixture of sand and charcoal, which was basically used as the iodine extraction sorbent. The amounts of these wastes were estimated to be approximately 20,000 metric tons. The waste contamination is mainly composed of Ra-226 (U-238 decay series) and Ra-224, Ra-228 (Th-232 decay series). In 2009, the 'ECOMET-S', a Closed Joint-Stock Company from St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, was authorized by the Turkmenistan government to launch the rehabilitation project. The project includes D and D activities, contaminated areas remediation, collected wastes safe transportation to the repository and its disposal following repository closure. The work at the Khazar chemical plant started in September, 2010. Comprehensive radiological surveys to estimate the waste quantities were carried out in advance. In course of the rehabilitation work at the site of the Khazar chemical plant additional waste quantities (5,000 MT, 10,000 m{sup 3}) were discovered after the sludge was dumped and drained. Disposal volumes for this waste was not provided initially. The additional volume of the construction wastes was required in order to accommodate all the waste to be disposed. For the larger disposal volume the project design enterprise VNIPIET, offered to erect a second wall outside the existing one and this solution was adopted. As of May, 2011, 40,575 m{sup 3} of contaminated waste were collected and disposed safely. This volume represents 96.6% of the initial repository volume

  19. Ecotoxicological assessments show sucralose and fluoxetine affect the aquatic plant, Lemna minor.

    PubMed

    Amy-Sagers, Cherisse; Reinhardt, Keith; Larson, Danelle M

    2017-04-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) are prevalent in aquatic systems, yet the fate and impacts on aquatic plants needs quantification for many compounds. We measured and detected sucralose (an artificial sweetener), fluoxetine (an antidepressant), and other PPCP in the Portneuf River in Idaho, USA, where Lemna minor (an aquatic plant in the environment and used in ecotoxicology studies) naturally occurs. Sucralose was hypothesized to negatively affect photosynthesis and growth of L. minor because sucralose is a chlorinated molecule that may be toxic or unusable for plant metabolism. A priori hypotheses were not created for fluoxetine due to lack of previous studies examining its impacts on plants. We conducted laboratory ecotoxicological assessments for a large range of concentrations of sucralose and fluoxetine on L. minor physiology and photosynthetic function. Frond green leaf area, root length, growth rate, photosynthetic capacity, and plant carbon isotopic composition (discrimination relative to a standard; δ(13)C) were measured among treatments ranging from 0 to 15000nmol/L-sucralose and 0-323nmol/L-fluoxetine. Contrary to our predictions, sucralose significantly increased green leaf area, photosynthetic capacity, and δ (13)C of L. minor at environmentally relevant concentrations. The increase of δ (13)C from sucralose amendments and an isotope-mixing model indicated substantial sucralose uptake and assimilation within the plant. Unlike humans who cannot break down and utilize sucralose, we documented that L. minor-a mixotrophic plant-can use sucralose as a sugar substitute to increase its green leaf area and photosynthetic capacity. Fluoxetine significantly decreased L. minor root growth, daily growth rate, and asexual reproduction at 323nmol/L-fluoxetine; however, ambiguity remains regarding the mechanisms responsible and the applicability of these extreme concentrations unprecedented in the natural environment. To our knowledge, this was

  20. Plant hybrid zones affect biodiversity: Tools for a genetic-based understanding of community structure

    SciTech Connect

    Whitham, T.G.; Martinsen, G.D.; Keim, P.; Floate, K.D.; Dungey, H.S. |; Potts, B.M.

    1999-03-01

    Plant hybrid zones are dynamic centers of ecological and evolutionary processes for plants and their associated communities. Studies in the wild and in gardens with synthetic crosses showed that hybrid eucalypts supports the greatest species richness and abundances of insect and fungal taxa. In an updated review of 152 case studies of taxa associated with diverse hybridizing systems, there were 43 (28%) cases of hybrids being more susceptible than their parent species, 7 (5%) resistant, 35 (23%) additive, 35 (23%) dominant, and 32 (21%) showed no response to hybridization. Thus, most taxa respond to hybrids in ways that result in equal or greater abundance, and hybrids tend to accumulate the taxa of their parent species. These studies suggest that genetic-based plant traits affect the distribution of many species and that the variation in hybrids can be used as tools to examine the genetic components of community structure and biodiversity.

  1. Plant traits affecting herbivory on tree recruits in highly diverse subtropical forests.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Fischer, Markus; Kröber, Wenzel; Härdtle, Werner; Ma, Keping; Michalski, Stefan G; Palm, Wolf-Ulrich; Schmid, Bernhard; Welk, Erik; Zhou, Hongzhang; Assmann, Thorsten

    2012-07-01

    Differences in herbivory among woody species can greatly affect the functioning of forest ecosystems, particularly in species-rich (sub)tropical regions. However, the relative importance of the different plant traits which determine herbivore damage remains unclear. Defence traits can have strong effects on herbivory, but rarely studied geographical range characteristics could complement these effects through evolutionary associations with herbivores. Herein, we use a large number of morphological, chemical, phylogenetic and biogeographical characteristics to analyse interspecific differences in herbivory on tree saplings in subtropical China. Unexpectedly, we found no significant effects of chemical defence traits. Rather, herbivory was related to the plants' leaf morphology, local abundance and climatic niche characteristics, which together explained 70% of the interspecific variation in herbivory in phylogenetic regression. Our study indicates that besides defence traits and apparency to herbivores, previously neglected measures of large-scale geographical host distribution are important factors influencing local herbivory patterns among plant species.

  2. Establishment of plant regeneration and cryopreservation system from zygotic embryo-derived embryogenic cell suspension cultures of Ranunculus kazusensis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Suk Weon; Oh, Myung Jin

    2009-01-01

    This chapter describes culture conditions for high-frequency plant regeneration via somatic embryogenesis and cryopreservation from cell suspension cultures of Ranunculus kazusensis. Zygotic embryos form white nodular structures and pale-yellow calli at a frequency of 84.9% on half-strength Schenk and Hildebrandt (SH) medium supplemented with 0.1 mg/L 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4- D). However, the frequency of white nodular structure and off-white callus formation decreases to 25% with an increasing concentration of 2,4- D up to 10 mg/L cell suspension cultures are established from zygotic embryo-derived pale-yellow calli using half-strength SH medium supplemented with 0.1 mg/L 2,4- D. Upon plating onto half-strength SH basal medium, over 90% cell aggregates give rise to numerous somatic embryos and develop into plantlets. Regenerated plantlets are transplanted to pots filled with soil and grown to maturity at 90% survival rate in a growth chamber. Furthermore, we have developed the cryopreservation system using embryogenic cell suspension cultures of Ranunculus kazusensis. The re-growth rate of cryopreserved cells in 20% glycerol and 10% dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) is 10% and 28.3%, respectively. These results show that DMSO is more effective cryoprotectant than glycerol in long-term preservation of embryogenic cell suspension cultures. The plant regeneration and cryopreservation system established in this study could be applied for mass propagation and ex situ conservation of this plant species.

  3. Macronutrient content of plant-based food affects growth of a carnivorous arthropod.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2011-02-01

    Many arthropods engage in mutualisms in which they consume plant-based foods including nectar, extrafloral nectar, and honeydew. However, relatively little is known about the manner in which the specific macronutrients in these plant-based resources affect growth, especially for carnivorous arthropods. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, we tested (1) how plant-based foods, together with ad libitum insect prey, affect the growth of a carnivorous ant, Solenopsis invicta, and (2) which macronutrients in these resources (i.e., carbohydrates, amino acids, or both) contribute to higher colony growth. Access to honeydew increased the production of workers and brood in experimental colonies. This growth effect appeared to be due to carbohydrates alone as colonies provided with the carbohydrate component of artificial extrafloral nectar had greater worker and brood production compared to colonies deprived of carbohydrates. Surprisingly, amino acids only had a slight interactive effect on the proportion of a colony composed of brood and negatively affected worker survival. Diet choice in the laboratory and field matched performance in the laboratory with high recruitment to carbohydrate baits and only slight recruitment to amino acids. The strong, positive effects of carbohydrates on colony growth and the low cost of producing this macronutrient for plants and hemipterans may have aided the evolution of food-for-protection mutualisms and help explain why these interactions are so common in ants. In addition, greater access to plant-based resources in the introduced range of S. invicta may help to explain the high densities achieved by this species throughout the southeastern United States.

  4. Plant water use affects competition for nitrogen: why drought favors invasive species in California.

    PubMed

    Everard, Katherine; Seabloom, Eric W; Harpole, W Stanley; de Mazancourt, Claire

    2010-01-01

    Abstract: Classic resource competition theory typically treats resource supply rates as independent; however, nutrient supplies can be affected by plants indirectly, with important consequences for model predictions. We demonstrate this general phenomenon by using a model in which competition for nitrogen is mediated by soil moisture, with competitive outcomes including coexistence and multiple stable states as well as competitive exclusion. In the model, soil moisture regulates nitrogen availability through soil moisture dependence of microbial processes, leaching, and plant uptake. By affecting water availability, plants also indirectly affect nitrogen availability and may therefore alter the competitive outcome. Exotic annual species from the Mediterranean have displaced much of the native perennial grasses in California. Nitrogen and water have been shown to be potentially limiting in this system. We parameterize the model for a Californian grassland and show that soil moisture-mediated competition for nitrogen can explain the annual species' dominance in drier areas, with coexistence expected in wetter regions. These results are concordant with larger biogeographic patterns of grassland invasion in the Pacific states of the United States, in which annual grasses have invaded most of the hot, dry grasslands in California but perennial grasses dominate the moister prairies of northern California, Oregon, and Washington.

  5. Plant age and genotype affect the bacterial community composition in the tuber rhizosphere of field-grown sweet potato plants.

    PubMed

    Marques, Joana M; da Silva, Thais F; Vollu, Renata E; Blank, Arie F; Ding, Guo-Chun; Seldin, Lucy; Smalla, Kornelia

    2014-05-01

    The hypothesis that sweet potato genotypes containing different starch yields in their tuberous roots can affect the bacterial communities present in the rhizosphere (soil adhering to tubers) was tested in this study. Tuberous roots of field-grown sweet potato of genotypes IPB-149 (commercial genotype), IPB-052, and IPB-137 were sampled three and six months after planting and analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes PCR-amplified from total community DNA. The statistical analysis of the DGGE fingerprints showed that both plant age and genotypes influenced the bacterial community structure in the tuber rhizosphere. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that the IPB-149 and IPB-052 (both with high starch content) displayed similar bacterial composition in the tuber rhizosphere, while IPB-137 with the lowest starch content was distinct. In comparison with bulk soil, higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers (qPCR) and numerous genera with significantly increased abundance in the tuber rhizosphere of IPB-137 (Sphingobium, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Stenotrophomonas, Chryseobacterium) indicated a stronger rhizosphere effect. The genus Bacillus was strongly enriched in the tuber rhizosphere samples of all sweet potato genotypes studied, while other genera showed a plant genotype-dependent abundance. This is the first report on the molecular identification of bacteria being associated with the tuber rhizosphere of different sweet potato genotypes.

  6. Institutional implications of establishing safety goals for nuclear power plants. [PWR; BWR

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, F.A.; Hooper, R.L.

    1983-07-01

    The purpose of this project is to anticipate and address institutional problems that may arise from the adoption of NRC's proposed Policy Statement on Safety Goals for Nuclear Power Plants. The report emphasizes one particular category of institutional problems: the possible use of safety goals as a basis for legal challenges to NRC actions, and the resolution of such challenges by the courts. Three types of legal issues are identified and analyzed. These are, first, general legal issues such as access to the legal system, burden of proof, and standard of proof. Second is the particular formulation of goals. Involved here are such questions as sustainable rationale, definitions, avoided issues, vagueness of time and space details, and degree of conservatism. Implementation brings up the third set of issues which include interpretation and application, linkage to probabilistic risk assessment, consequences as compared to events, and the use of results.

  7. How glyphosate affects plant disease development: it is more than enhanced susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Hammerschmidt, Ray

    2017-01-09

    Glyphosate has been shown to affect the development of plant disease in several ways. Plants utilize phenolic and other shikimic acid pathway-derived compounds as part of their defense against pathogens, and glyphosate inhibits the biosynthesis of these compounds via its mode of action. Several studies have shown a correlation between enhanced disease and suppression of phenolic compound production after glyphosate. Glyphosate-resistant crop plants have also been studied for changes in resistance as a result of carrying the glyphosate resistance trait. The evidence indicates that neither the resistance trait nor application of glyphosate to glyphosate-resistant plants increases susceptibility to disease. The only exceptions to this are cases where glyphosate has been shown to reduce rust diseases on glyphosate-resistant crops, supporting a fungicidal role for this chemical. Finally, glyphosate treatment of weeds or volunteer crops can cause a temporary increase in soil-borne pathogens that may result in disease development if crops are planted too soon after glyphosate application. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. The Effects of Seed Ingestion by Livestock, Dung Fertilization, Trampling, Grass Competition and Fire on Seedling Establishment of Two Woody Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Tjelele, Julius; Ward, David; Dziba, Luthando

    2015-01-01

    The increasing rate of woody plant encroachment in grasslands or savannas remains a challenge to livestock farmers. The causes and control measures of woody plant encroachment are of common interest, especially where it negatively affects the objectives of an agricultural enterprise. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of gut passage (goats, cattle), dung (nutrients), fire, grass competition and trampling on establishment of A. nilotica and D. cinerea seedlings. Germination trials were subjected to the following treatments: 1) seed passage through the gut of cattle and goats and unpassed/ untreated seeds (i.e. not ingested), 2) dung and control (no dung), 3) grass and control (mowed grass), 4) fire and control (no fire), 5) trampling and control (no trampling). The interaction of animal species, grass and fire had an effect on seedling recruitment (P < 0.0052). Seeds retrieved from goats and planted with no grass and with fire (6.81% ± 0.33) had a significant effect on seedling recruitment than seeds retrieved from goats and planted with grass and no fire (2.98% ± 0.33). Significantly more D. cinerea and A. nilotica seeds germinated following seed ingestion by goats (3.59% ± 0.16) than cattle (1.93% ± 0.09) and control or untreated seeds (1.69% ± 0.11). Less dense grass cover, which resulted in reduced grass competition with tree seedlings for light, space and water, and improved seed scarification due to gut passage were vital for emergence and recruitment of Acacia seedlings. These results will contribute considerably to the understanding of the recruitment phase of woody plant encroachment. PMID:25695765

  9. The effects of seed ingestion by livestock, dung fertilization, trampling, grass competition and fire on seedling establishment of two woody plant species.

    PubMed

    Tjelele, Julius; Ward, David; Dziba, Luthando

    2015-01-01

    The increasing rate of woody plant encroachment in grasslands or savannas remains a challenge to livestock farmers. The causes and control measures of woody plant encroachment are of common interest, especially where it negatively affects the objectives of an agricultural enterprise. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of gut passage (goats, cattle), dung (nutrients), fire, grass competition and trampling on establishment of A. nilotica and D. cinerea seedlings. Germination trials were subjected to the following treatments: 1) seed passage through the gut of cattle and goats and unpassed/ untreated seeds (i.e. not ingested), 2) dung and control (no dung), 3) grass and control (mowed grass), 4) fire and control (no fire), 5) trampling and control (no trampling). The interaction of animal species, grass and fire had an effect on seedling recruitment (P < 0.0052). Seeds retrieved from goats and planted with no grass and with fire (6.81% ± 0.33) had a significant effect on seedling recruitment than seeds retrieved from goats and planted with grass and no fire (2.98% ± 0.33). Significantly more D. cinerea and A. nilotica seeds germinated following seed ingestion by goats (3.59% ± 0.16) than cattle (1.93% ± 0.09) and control or untreated seeds (1.69% ± 0.11). Less dense grass cover, which resulted in reduced grass competition with tree seedlings for light, space and water, and improved seed scarification due to gut passage were vital for emergence and recruitment of Acacia seedlings. These results will contribute considerably to the understanding of the recruitment phase of woody plant encroachment.

  10. CLIMATE CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE WITHIN-PLANT SPREAD OF BROAD MITES ON AZALEA.

    PubMed

    Mechant, E; Pauwels, E; Gobin, B

    2014-01-01

    The broad mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Banks) is considered a major pest in potted azalea, Flanders' flagship ornamental crop of Rhododendron simsii hybrids. In addition to severe economic damage, the broad mite is dreaded for its increasing resistance to acaricides. Due to restrictions in the use of broad spectrum acaricides, Belgian azalea growers are left with only three compounds, belonging to two mode of action groups and restricted in their number of applications, for broad mite control: abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin. Although P. latus can be controlled with predatory mites, the high cost of this system makes it (not yet) feasible for integration into standard azalea pest management systems. Hence, a maximum efficacy of treatments with available compounds is essential. Because abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin are contact acaricides with limited trans laminar flow, only broad mites located on shoot tips of azalea plants will be controlled after spraying. Consequently, the efficacy of chemical treatments is influenced by the location and spread of P. latus on the plant. Unfortunately, little is known on broad mites' within-plant spread or how it is affected by climatic conditions like temperature and relative humidity. Therefore, experiments were set up to verify whether climate conditions have an effect on the location and migration of broad mites on azalea. Broad mite infected azalea plants were placed in standard growth chambers under different temperature (T:2.5-25°C) and relative humidity (RH:55-80%) treatments. Within-plant spread was determined by counting mites on the shoot tips and inner leaves of azalea plants. Results indicate that temperature and relative humidity have no significant effect on the within-plant spread of P. latus. To formulate recommendations for optimal spray conditions to maximize the efficacy of broad mite control with acaricides, further experiments on the effect of light intensity and rain are scheduled.

  11. Mercury in soil and perennial plants in a mining-affected urban area from Northwestern Romania.

    PubMed

    Senilă, Marin; Levei, Erika A; Senilă, Lăcrimioara R; Oprea, Gabriela M; Roman, Cecilia M

    2012-01-01

    The mercury (Hg) concentrations were evaluated in soils and perennial plants sampled in four districts of Baia Mare city, a historical mining and ore processing center in Northwestern Romania. The results showed that the Hg concentration exceeded the guideline value of 1.0 mg kg(-1) dry weight (dw) established by the Romanian Legislation, in 24 % of the analyzed soil samples, while the median Hg concentration (0.70 mg kg(-1) dw) was lower than the guideline value. However, Hg content in soil was generally higher than typical values in soils from residential and agricultural areas of the cities all over the world. The median Hg concentration was 0.22 mg kg(-1) dw in the perennial plants, and exceeded the maximum level of Hg (0.10 mg kg(-1)) established by European Directive 2002/32/EC for plants used in animal feed in order to prevent its transfer and further accumulation in the higher levels of food chain. No significant correlations were found between soil Hg and other analyzed metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) resulted from the non-ferrous smelting activities, probably due to the different physicochemical properties, that led to different dispersion patterns.

  12. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  13. Agave salmiana plant communities in central Mexico as affected by commercial use.

    PubMed

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal (Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha(-1)) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha(-1)) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha(-1)) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  14. Some considerations for establishing seismic design criteria for nuclear plant piping

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, W.P.; Chokshi, N.C.

    1997-01-01

    The Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) is providing assistance to the U.S. NRC in developing regulatory positions on the seismic analysis of piping. As part of this effort, ETEC previously performed reviews of the ASME Code, Section III piping seismic design criteria as revised by the 1994 Addenda. These revised criteria were based on evaluations by the ASME Special Task Group on Integrated Piping Criteria (STGIPC) and the Technical Core Group (TCG) of the Advanced Reactor Corporation (ARC) of the earlier joint Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)/NRC Piping & Fitting Dynamic Reliability (PFDR) program. Previous ETEC evaluations reported at the 23rd WRSM of seismic margins associated with the revised criteria are reviewed. These evaluations had concluded, in part, that although margins for the timed PFDR tests appeared acceptable (>2), margins in detuned tests could be unacceptable (<1). This conclusion was based primarily on margin reduction factors (MRFs) developed by the ASME STGIPC and ARC/TCG from realistic analyses of PFDR test 36. This paper reports more recent results including: (1) an approach developed for establishing appropriate seismic margins based on PRA considerations, (2) independent assessments of frequency effects on margins, (3) the development of margins based on failure mode considerations, and (4) the implications of Code Section III rules for Section XI.

  15. Multifunctionality is affected by interactions between green roof plant species, substrate depth, and substrate type.

    PubMed

    Dusza, Yann; Barot, Sébastien; Kraepiel, Yvan; Lata, Jean-Christophe; Abbadie, Luc; Raynaud, Xavier

    2017-04-01

    Green roofs provide ecosystem services through evapotranspiration and nutrient cycling that depend, among others, on plant species, substrate type, and substrate depth. However, no study has assessed thoroughly how interactions between these factors alter ecosystem functions and multifunctionality of green roofs. We simulated some green roof conditions in a pot experiment. We planted 20 plant species from 10 genera and five families (Asteraceae, Caryophyllaceae, Crassulaceae, Fabaceae, and Poaceae) on two substrate types (natural vs. artificial) and two substrate depths (10 cm vs. 30 cm). As indicators of major ecosystem functions, we measured aboveground and belowground biomasses, foliar nitrogen and carbon content, foliar transpiration, substrate water retention, and dissolved organic carbon and nitrates in leachates. Interactions between substrate type and depth strongly affected ecosystem functions. Biomass production was increased in the artificial substrate and deeper substrates, as was water retention in most cases. In contrast, dissolved organic carbon leaching was higher in the artificial substrates. Except for the Fabaceae species, nitrate leaching was reduced in deep, natural soils. The highest transpiration rates were associated with natural soils. All functions were modulated by plant families or species. Plant effects differed according to the observed function and the type and depth of the substrate. Fabaceae species grown on natural soils had the most noticeable patterns, allowing high biomass production and high water retention but also high nitrate leaching from deep pots. No single combination of factors enhanced simultaneously all studied ecosystem functions, highlighting that soil-plant interactions induce trade-offs between ecosystem functions. Substrate type and depth interactions are major drivers for green roof multifunctionality.

  16. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Cárcamo, Héctor A; Herle, Carolyn E; Lupwayi, Newton Z

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs.

  17. Plant Protein and Animal Proteins: Do They Differentially Affect Cardiovascular Disease Risk?12

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Chesney K; Skulas-Ray, Ann C; Champagne, Catherine M; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2015-01-01

    Proteins from plant-based compared with animal-based food sources may have different effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Numerous epidemiologic and intervention studies have evaluated their respective health benefits; however, it is difficult to isolate the role of plant or animal protein on CVD risk. This review evaluates the current evidence from observational and intervention studies, focusing on the specific protein-providing foods and populations studied. Dietary protein is derived from many food sources, and each provides a different composite of nonprotein compounds that can also affect CVD risk factors. Increasing the consumption of protein-rich foods also typically results in lower intakes of other nutrients, which may simultaneously influence outcomes. Given these complexities, blanket statements about plant or animal protein may be too general, and greater consideration of the specific protein food sources and the background diet is required. The potential mechanisms responsible for any specific effects of plant and animal protein are similarly multifaceted and include the amino acid content of particular foods, contributions from other nonprotein compounds provided concomitantly by the whole food, and interactions with the gut microbiome. Evidence to date is inconclusive, and additional studies are needed to further advance our understanding of the complexity of plant protein vs. animal protein comparisons. Nonetheless, current evidence supports the idea that CVD risk can be reduced by a dietary pattern that provides more plant sources of protein compared with the typical American diet and also includes animal-based protein foods that are unprocessed and low in saturated fat. PMID:26567196

  18. Plant protein and animal proteins: do they differentially affect cardiovascular disease risk?

    PubMed

    Richter, Chesney K; Skulas-Ray, Ann C; Champagne, Catherine M; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2015-11-01

    Proteins from plant-based compared with animal-based food sources may have different effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Numerous epidemiologic and intervention studies have evaluated their respective health benefits; however, it is difficult to isolate the role of plant or animal protein on CVD risk. This review evaluates the current evidence from observational and intervention studies, focusing on the specific protein-providing foods and populations studied. Dietary protein is derived from many food sources, and each provides a different composite of nonprotein compounds that can also affect CVD risk factors. Increasing the consumption of protein-rich foods also typically results in lower intakes of other nutrients, which may simultaneously influence outcomes. Given these complexities, blanket statements about plant or animal protein may be too general, and greater consideration of the specific protein food sources and the background diet is required. The potential mechanisms responsible for any specific effects of plant and animal protein are similarly multifaceted and include the amino acid content of particular foods, contributions from other nonprotein compounds provided concomitantly by the whole food, and interactions with the gut microbiome. Evidence to date is inconclusive, and additional studies are needed to further advance our understanding of the complexity of plant protein vs. animal protein comparisons. Nonetheless, current evidence supports the idea that CVD risk can be reduced by a dietary pattern that provides more plant sources of protein compared with the typical American diet and also includes animal-based protein foods that are unprocessed and low in saturated fat.

  19. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Cárcamo, Héctor A.; Herle, Carolyn E.; Lupwayi, Newton Z.

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. PMID:26106086

  20. Carbon gas fluxes in re-established wetlands on organic soils differ relative to plant community and hydrology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Robin L.

    2011-01-01

    We measured CO2 and CH4 fluxes for 6 years following permanent flooding of an agriculturally managed organic soil at two water depths (~25 and ~55 cm standing water) in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, California, as part of research studying C dynamics in re-established wetlands. Flooding rapidly reduced gaseous C losses, and radiocarbon data showed that this, in part, was due to reduced oxidation of "old" C preserved in the organic soils. Both CO2 and CH4 emissions from the water surface increased during the first few growing seasons, concomitant with emergent marsh establishment, and thereafter appeared to stabilize according to plant communities. Areas of emergent marsh vegetation in the shallower wetland had greater net CO2 influx (-485 mg Cm-1 h-1), and lower CH4 emissions (11.5 mg Cm-2 h-1), than in the deeper wetland (-381 and 14.1 mg Cm-2 h-1, respectively). Areas with submerged and floating vegetation in the deeper wetland had CH4 emissions similar to emergent vegetation (11.9 and 12.6 mg Cm-2 h-1, respectively), despite lower net CO2 influx (-102 gC m-2 h-1). Measurements of plant moderated net CO2 influx and CH4 efflux indicated greatest potential reduction of greenhouse gases in the more shallowly flooded wetland.

  1. Common gas phase molecules from fungi affect seed germination and plant health in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Fungal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play important ecophysiological roles in mediating inter-kingdom signaling with arthropods but less is known about their interactions with plants. In this study, Arabidopsis thaliana was used as a model in order to test the physiological effects of 23 common vapor-phase fungal VOCs that included alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and other chemical classes. After exposure to a shared atmosphere with the 23 individual VOCs for 72 hrs, seeds were assayed for rate of germination and seedling formation; vegetative plants were assayed for fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration. All but five of the VOCs tested (1-decene, 2-n-heptylfuran, nonanal, geosmin and -limonene) had a significant effect in inhibiting either germination, seedling formation or both. Seedling formation was entirely inhibited by exposure to 1-octen-3-one, 2-ethylhexanal, 3-methylbutanal, and butanal. As assayed by a combination of fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration, 2-ethylhexanal had a negative impact on two-week-old vegetative plants. Three other compounds (1-octen-3-ol, 2-ethylhexanal, and 2-heptylfuran) decreased fresh weight alone. Most of the VOCs tested did not change the fresh weight or chlorophyll concentration of vegetative plants. In summary, when tested as single compounds, fungal VOCs affected A. thaliana in positive, negative or neutral ways. PMID:25045602

  2. Different degrees of plant invasion significantly affect the richness of the soil fungal community.

    PubMed

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process.

  3. Different Degrees of Plant Invasion Significantly Affect the Richness of the Soil Fungal Community

    PubMed Central

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process. PMID:24392015

  4. Population variation affects interactions between two California salt marsh plant species more than precipitation.

    PubMed

    Noto, Akana E; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2016-02-01

    Species that occur along broad environmental gradients often vary in phenotypic traits that make them better adapted to local conditions. Variation in species interactions across gradients could therefore be due to either phenotypic differences among populations or environmental conditions that shift the balance between competition and facilitation. To understand how the environment (precipitation) and variation among populations affect species interactions, we conducted a common garden experiment using two common salt marsh plant species, Salicornia pacifica and Jaumea carnosa, from six salt marshes along the California coast encompassing a large precipitation gradient. Plants were grown alone or with an individual of the opposite species from the same site and exposed to one of three precipitation regimes. J. carnosa was negatively affected in the presence of S. pacifica, while S. pacifica was facilitated by J. carnosa. The strength of these interactions varied by site of origin but not by precipitation treatment. These results suggest that phenotypic variation among populations can affect interaction strength more than environment, despite a threefold difference in precipitation. Geographic intraspecific variation may therefore play an important role in determining the strength of interactions in communities.

  5. Colorimetric method for identifying plant essential oil components that affect biofilm formation and structure.

    PubMed

    Niu, C; Gilbert, E S

    2004-12-01

    The specific biofilm formation (SBF) assay, a technique based on crystal violet staining, was developed to locate plant essential oils and their components that affect biofilm formation. SBF analysis determined that cinnamon, cassia, and citronella oils differentially affected growth-normalized biofilm formation by Escherichia coli. Examination of the corresponding essential oil principal components by the SBF assay revealed that cinnamaldehyde decreased biofilm formation compared to biofilms grown in Luria-Bertani broth, eugenol did not result in a change, and citronellol increased the SBF. To evaluate these results, two microscopy-based assays were employed. First, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to examine E. coli biofilms cultivated in flow cells, which were quantitatively analyzed by COMSTAT, an image analysis program. The overall trend for five parameters that characterize biofilm development corroborated the findings of the SBF assay. Second, the results of an assay measuring growth-normalized adhesion by direct microscopy concurred with the results of the SBF assay and CLSM imaging. Viability staining indicated that there was reduced toxicity of the essential oil components to cells in biofilms compared to the toxicity to planktonic cells but revealed morphological damage to E. coli after cinnamaldehyde exposure. Cinnamaldehyde also inhibited the swimming motility of E. coli. SBF analysis of three Pseudomonas species exposed to cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, or citronellol revealed diverse responses. The SBF assay could be useful as an initial step for finding plant essential oils and their components that affect biofilm formation and structure.

  6. The root herbivore history of the soil affects the productivity of a grassland plant community and determines plant response to new root herbivore attack.

    PubMed

    Sonnemann, Ilja; Hempel, Stefan; Beutel, Maria; Hanauer, Nicola; Reidinger, Stefan; Wurst, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    Insect root herbivores can alter plant community structure by affecting the competitive ability of single plants. However, their effects can be modified by the soil environment. Root herbivory itself may induce changes in the soil biota community, and it has recently been shown that these changes can affect plant growth in a subsequent season or plant generation. However, so far it is not known whether these root herbivore history effects (i) are detectable at the plant community level and/or (ii) also determine plant species and plant community responses to new root herbivore attack. The present greenhouse study determined root herbivore history effects of click beetle larvae (Elateridae, Coleoptera, genus Agriotes) in a model grassland plant community consisting of six common species (Achillea millefolium, Plantago lanceolata, Taraxacum officinale, Holcus lanatus, Poa pratensis, Trifolium repens). Root herbivore history effects were generated in a first phase of the experiment by growing the plant community in soil with or without Agriotes larvae, and investigated in a second phase by growing it again in the soils that were either Agriotes trained or not. The root herbivore history of the soil affected plant community productivity (but not composition), with communities growing in root herbivore trained soil producing more biomass than those growing in untrained soil. Additionally, it influenced the response of certain plant species to new root herbivore attack. Effects may partly be explained by herbivore-induced shifts in the community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The root herbivore history of the soil proved to be a stronger driver of plant growth on the community level than an actual root herbivore attack which did not affect plant community parameters. History effects have to be taken into account when predicting the impact of root herbivores on grasslands.

  7. The Root Herbivore History of the Soil Affects the Productivity of a Grassland Plant Community and Determines Plant Response to New Root Herbivore Attack

    PubMed Central

    Sonnemann, Ilja; Hempel, Stefan; Beutel, Maria; Hanauer, Nicola; Reidinger, Stefan; Wurst, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    Insect root herbivores can alter plant community structure by affecting the competitive ability of single plants. However, their effects can be modified by the soil environment. Root herbivory itself may induce changes in the soil biota community, and it has recently been shown that these changes can affect plant growth in a subsequent season or plant generation. However, so far it is not known whether these root herbivore history effects (i) are detectable at the plant community level and/or (ii) also determine plant species and plant community responses to new root herbivore attack. The present greenhouse study determined root herbivore history effects of click beetle larvae (Elateridae, Coleoptera, genus Agriotes) in a model grassland plant community consisting of six common species (Achillea millefolium, Plantago lanceolata, Taraxacum officinale, Holcus lanatus, Poa pratensis, Trifolium repens). Root herbivore history effects were generated in a first phase of the experiment by growing the plant community in soil with or without Agriotes larvae, and investigated in a second phase by growing it again in the soils that were either Agriotes trained or not. The root herbivore history of the soil affected plant community productivity (but not composition), with communities growing in root herbivore trained soil producing more biomass than those growing in untrained soil. Additionally, it influenced the response of certain plant species to new root herbivore attack. Effects may partly be explained by herbivore-induced shifts in the community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The root herbivore history of the soil proved to be a stronger driver of plant growth on the community level than an actual root herbivore attack which did not affect plant community parameters. History effects have to be taken into account when predicting the impact of root herbivores on grasslands. PMID:23441201

  8. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Brown, C. S.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  9. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, A C; Brown, C S

    1997-02-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  10. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Medicinal plants extracts affect virulence factors expression and biofilm formation by the uropathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Wojnicz, Dorota; Kucharska, Alicja Z; Sokół-Łętowska, Anna; Kicia, Marta; Tichaczek-Goska, Dorota

    2012-12-01

    Medicinal plants are an important source for the therapeutic remedies of various diseases including urinary tract infections. This prompted us to perform research in this area. We decided to focus on medicinal plants species used in urinary tract infections prevention. The aim of our study was to determine the influence of Betula pendula, Equisetum arvense, Herniaria glabra, Galium odoratum, Urtica dioica, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea extracts on bacterial survival and virulence factors involved in tissue colonization and biofilm formation of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli rods. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of plant extracts were performed. Antimicrobial assay relied on the estimation of the colony forming unit number. Hydrophobicity of cells was established by salt aggregation test. Using motility agar, the ability of bacteria to move was examined. The erythrocyte hemagglutination test was used for fimbriae P screening. Curli expression was determined using YESCA agar supplemented with congo red. Quantification of biofilm formation was carried out using a microtiter plate assay and a spectrophotometric method. The results of the study indicate significant differences between investigated extracts in their antimicrobial activities. The extracts of H. glabra and V. vitis-idaea showed the highest growth-inhibitory effects (p < 0.05). Surface hydrophobicity of autoaggregating E. coli strain changed after exposure to all plant extracts, except V. vitis-idaea (p > 0.05). The B. pendula and U. dioica extracts significantly reduced the motility of the E. coli rods (p < 0.05). All the extracts exhibited the anti-biofilm activity.

  12. Salt affects plant Cd-stress responses by modulating growth and Cd accumulation.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jin; Yin, Hengxia; Liu, Xiaojing; Li, Xia

    2010-01-01

    Cadmium contamination is a serious environmental problem for modern agriculture and human health. Salinity affects plant growth and development, and interactions between salt and cadmium have been reported. However, the molecular mechanisms of salinity-cadmium interactions are not fully understood. Here, we show that a low concentration of salt alleviates Cd-induced growth inhibition and increases Cd accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Supplementation with low concentrations of salt reduced the reactive oxygen species level in Cd-stressed roots by increasing the contents of proline and glutathione and down-regulating the expression of RCD1, thereby protecting the plasma membrane integrity of roots under cadmium stress. Salt supplementation substantially reduces the Cd-induced elevation of IAA oxidase activity, thereby maintaining auxin levels in Cd-stressed plants, as indicated by DR5::GUS expression. Salt supply increased Cd absorption in roots and increased Cd accumulation in leaves, implying that salt enhances both Cd uptake in roots and the root-to-shoot translocation of Cd. The elevated Cd accumulation in plants in response to salt was found to be correlated with the elevated levels of phytochelatin the expression of heavy metal transporters AtHMA1-4, especially AtHMA4. Salt alleviated growth inhibition caused by Cd and increased Cd accumulation also was observed in Cd accumulator Solanum nigrum.

  13. AQUATIC PLANT SPECIATION AFFECTED BY DIVERSIFYING SELECTION OF ORGANELLE DNA REGIONS(1).

    PubMed

    Kato, Syou; Misawa, Kazuharu; Takahashi, Fumio; Sakayama, Hidetoshi; Sano, Satomi; Kosuge, Keiko; Kasai, Fumie; Watanabe, Makoto M; Tanaka, Jiro; Nozaki, Hisayoshi

    2011-10-01

    Many of the genes that control photosynthesis are carried in the chloroplast. These genes differ among species. However, evidence has yet to be reported revealing the involvement of organelle genes in the initial stages of plant speciation. To elucidate the molecular basis of aquatic plant speciation, we focused on the unique plant species Chara braunii C. C. Gmel. that inhabits both shallow and deep freshwater habitats and exhibits habitat-based dimorphism of chloroplast DNA (cpDNA). Here, we examined the "shallow" and "deep" subpopulations of C. braunii using two nuclear DNA (nDNA) markers and cpDNA. Genetic differentiation between the two subpopulations was measured in both nDNA and cpDNA regions, although phylogenetic analyses suggested nuclear gene flow between subpopulations. Neutrality tests based on Tajima's D demonstrated diversifying selection acting on organelle DNA regions. Furthermore, both "shallow" and "deep" haplotypes of cpDNA detected in cultures originating from bottom soils of three deep environments suggested that migration of oospores (dormant zygotes) between the two habitats occurs irrespective of the complete habitat-based dimorphism of cpDNA from field-collected vegetative thalli. Therefore, the two subpopulations are highly selected by their different aquatic habitats and show prezygotic isolation, which represents an initial process of speciation affected by ecologically based divergent selection of organelle genes.

  14. [Noise-reduction function and its affecting factors of urban plant communities in Shanghai].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qing-Fei; Zheng, Si-Jun; Xia, Lei; Wu, Hai-Ping; Zhang, Ming-Li; Li, Ming-Sheng

    2007-10-01

    The factor analysis on the relationships between excess noise attenuation (decrement after noise propagating 30 m) and 8 structural characteristics of 19 urban plant communities in Shanghai showed that all the plant communities had notable effects on reducing noise, and the noise attenuation ability of the communities was significantly higher than that of lawn (P < 0.01). The plant communities could be divided into three groups base on their noise attenuation ability, i.e., those of > or = 10 dB(A), 6-10 dB(A), and < or = 6 dB(A). The main factors affecting the noise attenuation ability of the communities were leaf area index, average bifurcate height, average height, coverage, and average canopy diameter, and their correlation coefficients with noise attenuation were 0.343, 0.318, 0.285, 0.226 and 0.193, respectively. These five factors had a cumulative contribution rate of 65.47%, suggesting that they should be considered in stress when designing urban greenbelt for noise reduction.

  15. The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies

    PubMed Central

    Gerofotis, Christos D.; Ioannou, Charalampos S.; Nakas, Christos T.; Papadopoulos, Nikos T.

    2016-01-01

    Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful – dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed. PMID:27339862

  16. Multilevel Dynamic Systems Affecting Introduction of HIV/STI Prevention Innovations among Chinese Women in Sex Work Establishments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weeks, Margaret R.; Li, Jianghong; Liao, Susu; Zhang, Qingning; Dunn, Jennifer; Wang, Yanhong; Jiang, Jingmei

    2013-01-01

    Social and public health scientists are increasingly interested in applying system dynamics theory to improve understanding and to harness the forces of change within complex, multilevel systems that affect community intervention implementation, effects, and sustainability. Building a system dynamics model based on ethnographic case study has the…

  17. An Analysis of Zoning and Other Problems Affecting the Establishment of Group Homes for the Mentally Disabled.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-08-17

    cases, homes had to meet some of these requirements after opening. Just under 30 percent of the sponsors were involved in public hearings, less than one...years old, made up 12 percent of the population. Children, persons 14 years old and under , made up 10 percent of the population, and those over 65 years...Although these serv- ices were often donated, among those who paid, the average cost exceeded $2,000. Legal action to establish a home was under

  18. Connecting plant-microbial interactions above and belowground: a fungal endophyte affects decomposition.

    PubMed

    Lemons, Alisha; Clay, Keith; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2005-10-01

    Mutualisms can strongly affect the structure of communities, but their influence on ecosystem processes is not well resolved. Here we show that a plant-microbial mutualism affects the rate of leaf litter decomposition using the widespread interaction between tall fescue grass (Lolium arundinaceum) and the fungal endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum. In grasses, fungal endophytes live symbiotically in the aboveground tissues, where the fungi gain protection and nutrients from their host and often protect host plants from biotic and abiotic stress. In a field experiment, decomposition rate depended on a complex interaction between the litter source (collected from endophyte-infected or endophyte-free plots), the decomposition microenvironment (endophyte-infected or endophyte-free plots), and the presence of mesoinvertebrates (manipulated by the mesh size of litter bags). Over all treatments, decomposition was slower for endophyte-infected fescue litter than for endophyte-free litter. When mesoinvertebrates were excluded using fine mesh and litter was placed in a microenvironment with the endophyte, the difference between endophyte-infected and endophyte-free litter was strongest. In the presence of mesoinvertebrates, endophyte-infected litter decomposed faster in microenvironments with the endophyte than in microenvironments lacking the endophyte, suggesting that plots differ in the detritivore assemblage. Indeed, the presence of the endophyte in plots shifted the composition of Collembola, with more Hypogastruridae in the presence of the endophyte and more Isotomidae in endophyte-free plots. In a separate outdoor pot experiment, we did not find strong effects of the litter source or the soil microbial/microinvertebrate community on decomposition, which may reflect differences between pot and field conditions or other differences in methodology. Our work is among the first to demonstrate an effect of plant-endophyte mutualisms on ecosystem processes under field

  19. Exogenous abscisic acid significantly affects proteome in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) exposed to drought stress.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Lin; Xu, Hui; Mischke, Sue; Meinhardt, Lyndel W; Zhang, Dapeng; Zhu, Xujun; Li, Xinghui; Fang, Wanping

    2014-01-01

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important economic crop, and drought is the most important abiotic stress affecting yield and quality. Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone responsible for activating drought resistance. Increased understanding of ABA effects on tea plant under drought stress is essential to develop drought-tolerant tea genotypes, along with crop management practices that can mitigate drought stress. The objective of the present investigation is evaluation of effects of exogenous ABA on the leaf proteome in tea plant exposed to drought stress. Leaf protein patterns of tea plants under simulated drought stress [(polyethylene glycol (PEG)-treated] and exogenous ABA treatment were analyzed in a time-course experiment using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Among the 72 protein spots identified by MALDI-TOF MS, 16 proteins were downregulated and two were upregulated by exogenous ABA. The upregulated proteins have roles in glycolysis and photosystem II stabilization. Twenty-one protein spots were responsive to drought stress and most participate in carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism, control of reactive oxygen species (ROS), defense, signaling or nucleic acid metabolism. The combined treatments of exogenous ABA and drought showed upregulation of 10 protein spots at 12 h and upregulation of 11 proteins at 72 h after initiation of drought stress. The results support the importance of the role that ABA plays in the tea plant during drought stress, by improving protein transport, carbon metabolism and expression of resistance proteins.

  20. Plant material as bioaccumulator of arsenic in soils affected by mining activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-López, Salvadora; Martínez-Sánchez, Maria Jose; García-Lorenzo, Maria Luz; Pérez-Sirvent, Carmen

    2010-05-01

    fraction (oxidaizable medium extraction procedure). Arsenic concentration in leaves was positively correlated with the arsenic extracted by HCl, with the oxidizable-organic matter and sulfides fraction and with the arsenic extracted by Mehra-Jackson extraction. According to our results, As is accumulated in the leaves of the plants and is linked with iron oxides of these soils affected by mining activities.

  1. Phytostabilization of arsenic in soils with plants of the genus Atriplex established in situ in the Atacama Desert.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Yasna Tapia; Diaz, O; Acuña, E; Casanova, M; Salazar, O; Masaguer, A

    2016-04-01

    In the ChiuChiu village (Atacama Desert, Chile), there is a high concentration of arsenic (As) in the soil due to natural causes related to the presence of volcanoes and geothermal activity. To compare the levels of As and the growth parameters among plants of the same genus, three species of plants were established in situ: Atriplex atacamensis (native of Chile), Atriplex halimus, and Atriplex nummularia. These soils have an As concentration of 131.2 ± 10.4 mg kg(-1), a pH of 8.6 ± 0.1, and an electrical conductivity of 7.06 ± 2.37 dS m(-1). Cuttings of Atriplex were transplanted and maintained for 5 months with periodic irrigation and without the addition of fertilizers. The sequential extraction of As indicated that the metalloid in these soils has a high bioavailability (38 %), which is attributed to the alkaline pH, low organic matter and Fe oxide content, and sandy texture. At day 90 of the assay, the As concentrations in the leaves of A. halimus (4.53 ± 1.14 mg kg(-1)) and A. nummularia (3.85 ± 0.64 mg kg(-1)) were significantly higher than that in A. atacamensis (2.46 ± 1.82 mg kg(-1)). However, the three species accumulated higher levels of As in their roots, indicating a phytostabilization capacity. At the end of the assay, A. halimus and A. nummularia generated 30 % more biomass than A. atacamensis without significant differences in the As levels in the leaves. Despite the difficult conditions in these soils, the establishment of plants of the genus Atriplex is a recommended strategy to generate a vegetative cover that prevents the metalloid from spreading in this arid area through the soil or by wind.

  2. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  3. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats.

  4. Disruption of plant carotenoid biosynthesis through virus-induced gene silencing affects oviposition behaviour of the butterfly Pieris rapae.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Si-Jun; Snoeren, Tjeerd A L; Hogewoning, Sander W; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel

    2010-05-01

    Optical plant characteristics are important cues to plant-feeding insects. In this article, we demonstrate for the first time that silencing the phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene, encoding a key enzyme in plant carotenoid biosynthesis, affects insect oviposition site selection behaviour. Virus-induced gene silencing employing tobacco rattle virus was used to knock down endogenous PDS expression in three plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Brassica nigra and Nicotiana benthamiana) by its heterologous gene sequence from Brassica oleracea. We investigated the consequences of the silencing of PDS on oviposition behaviour by Pieris rapae butterflies on Arabidopsis and Brassica plants; first landing of the butterflies on Arabidopsis plants (to eliminate an effect of contact cues); first landing on Arabidopsis plants enclosed in containers (to eliminate an effect of volatiles); and caterpillar growth on Arabidopsis plants. Our results show unambiguously that P. rapae has an innate ability to visually discriminate between green and variegated green-whitish plants. Caterpillar growth was significantly lower on PDS-silenced than on empty vector control plants. This study presents the first analysis of PDS function in the interaction with an herbivorous insect. We conclude that virus-induced gene silencing is a powerful tool for investigating insect-plant interactions in model and nonmodel plants.

  5. Factors affecting food handling Practices among food handlers of Dangila town food and drink establishments, North West Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Food borne diseases are major health problems in developed and developing countries including Ethiopia. The problem is more noticeable in developing countries due to prevailing poor food handling and sanitation practices, inadequate food safety laws, weak regulatory systems, lack of financial resources to invest on safer equipments, and lack of education for food handlers. Methods The objective of this study was to assess food handling practice and associated factors among food handlers working in food and drinking establishments of Dangila town, North West Ethiopia. Cross-sectional quantitative study design was conducted among 406 food handlers working in 105 food and drink establishments from July to August 2013 in Dangila town. Data were collected using face to face interview with pretested structured questionnaire and physical observation. Result The mean age of the respondents was 22.7 ± 4.2 years of which 62.8% of the food handlers were females. Two hundred thirteen (52.5%) of food handlers had good food handling practices. Marital status (AOR = 7.52, 95% CI, 1.45-38.97), monthly income (AOR = 0.395, 95% CI, 0.25-0.62), knowledge about food handling (AOR = 1.69, 95% CI, 1.05-2.73), existence of shower facility (AOR = 1.89, 95% CI, 1.12-3.21) and separate dressing room (AOR = 1.97, 95% CI, 1.11-3.49) were found to be significantly associated with good food handling Practices. Conclusion Above half of food handlers had good food handling practices. Marital status, monthly income, knowledge status, existence of shower facility, existence of separate dressing room and presence of insect and rodent were factors associated with food handling Practices. PMID:24908104

  6. Does nitrate co-pollution affect biological responses of an aquatic plant to two common herbicides?

    PubMed

    Nuttens, A; Chatellier, S; Devin, S; Guignard, C; Lenouvel, A; Gross, E M

    2016-08-01

    Aquatic systems in agricultural landscapes are subjected to multiple stressors, among them pesticide and nitrate run-off, but effects of both together have rarely been studied. We investigated possible stress-specific and interaction effects using the new OECD test organism, Myriophyllum spicatum, a widespread aquatic plant. In a fully factorial design, we used two widely applied herbicides, isoproturon and mesosulfuron-methyl, in concentration-response curves at two nitrate levels (219.63 and 878.52mg N-NO3). We applied different endpoints reflecting plant performance such as growth, pigment content, content in phenolic compounds, and plant stoichiometry. Relative growth rates based on length (RGR-L) were affected strongly by both herbicides, while effects on relative growth rate based on dry weight (RGR-DW) were apparent for isoproturon but hardly visible for mesosulfuron-methyl due to an increase in dry matter content. The higher nitrate level further reduced growth rates, specifically with mesosulfuron-methyl. Effects were visible between 50 and 500μgL(-1) for isoproturon and 0.5-5μgL(-1) for mesosulfuron-methyl, with some differences between endpoints. The two herbicides had opposite effects on chlorophyll, carotenoid and nitrogen contents in plants, with values increasing with increasing concentrations of isoproturon and decreasing for mesosulfuron-methyl. Herbicides and nitrate level exhibited distinct effects on the content in phenolic compounds, with higher nitrate levels reducing total phenolic compounds in controls and with isoproturon, but not with mesosulfuron-methyl. Increasing concentrations of mesosulfuron-methyl lead to a decline of total phenolic compounds, while isoproturon had little effect. Contents of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus changed depending on the stressor combination. We observed higher phosphorus levels in plants exposed to certain concentrations of herbicides, potentially indicating a metabolic response. The C:N molar ratio

  7. Spatial environmental heterogeneity affects plant growth and thermal performance on a green roof.

    PubMed

    Buckland-Nicks, Michael; Heim, Amy; Lundholm, Jeremy

    2016-05-15

    Green roofs provide ecosystem services, including stormwater retention and reductions in heat transfer through the roof. Microclimates, as well as designed features of green roofs, such as substrate and vegetation, affect the magnitude of these services. Many green roofs are partially shaded by surrounding buildings, but the effects of this within-roof spatial environmental heterogeneity on thermal performance and other ecosystem services have not been examined. We quantified the effects of spatial heterogeneity in solar radiation, substrate depth and other variables affected by these drivers on vegetation and ecosystem services in an extensive green roof. Spatial heterogeneity in substrate depth and insolation were correlated with differential growth, survival and flowering in two focal plant species. These effects were likely driven by the resulting spatial heterogeneity in substrate temperature and moisture content. Thermal performance (indicated by heat flux and substrate temperature) was influenced by spatial heterogeneity in vegetation cover and substrate depth. Areas with less insolation were cooler in summer and had greater substrate moisture, leading to more favorable conditions for plant growth and survival. Spatial variation in substrate moisture (7%-26% volumetric moisture content) and temperature (21°C-36°C) during hot sunny conditions in summer could cause large differences in stormwater retention and heat flux within a single green roof. Shaded areas promote smaller heat fluxes through the roof, leading to energy savings, but lower evapotranspiration in these areas should reduce stormwater retention capacity. Spatial heterogeneity can thus result in trade-offs between different ecosystem services. The effects of these spatial heterogeneities are likely widespread in green roofs. Structures that provide shelter from sun and wind may be productively utilized to design higher functioning green roofs and increase biodiversity by providing habitat

  8. Ozone Differentially Affects Perception of Plant Volatiles in Western Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Dötterl, Stefan; Vater, Marina; Rupp, Thomas; Held, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents play a key role in mediating plant-pollinator interactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by flowers are used by flower visitors as olfactory cues to locate flowers, both from a distance and at close range. More recently it has been demonstrated that reactive molecules such as ozone can modify or degrade VOCs, and this may impair the communication between plants and their pollinators. However, it is not known whether such reactive molecules also may affect the olfactory system of pollinators, and thus not only influence signal transmission but perception of the signal. In this study, we used electroantennographic measurements to determine the effect of increased levels of ozone on antennal responses in western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Linalool and 2-phenylethanol, both known to be involved in location of flowers by the bees, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, a widespread green leaf volatile also detected by bees, were used. The results showed that ozone affected antennal responses to the different substances differently. Ozone decreased antennal responses to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, whereas responses to linalool and 2-phenylethanol were not influenced by ozone. Overall, the study does not provide evidence that pollination by honey bees is impaired by damage in the olfactory system of the bees caused by increased levels of ozone, at least when linalool and 2-phenylethanol are the attractive signals. However, the results also suggest that ozone can change the overall perception of an odor blend. This might have negative effects in pollination systems and other organismic interactions mediated by specific ratios of compounds.

  9. Defoliation negatively affects plant growth and the ectomycorrhizal community of Pinus pinaster in Spain.

    PubMed

    Pestaña, Montserrat; Santolamazza-Carbone, Serena

    2011-03-01

    In this work, by artificially reproducing severe (75%) and moderate (25%) defoliation on maritime pines Pinus pinaster in NW Spain, we investigated, under natural conditions, the consequences of foliage loss on reproduction, abundance, diversity and richness of the fungal symbionts growing belowground and aboveground. The effect of defoliation on tree growth was also assessed. Mature needles were clipped during April 2007 and 2008. Root samples were collected in June-July 2007 and 2008. Collection of sporocarps was performed weekly from April 2007 to April 2009. Taxonomic identity of ectomycorrhizal fungi was assessed by using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of rDNA through the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, subsequent direct sequencing and BLAST search. Ectomycorrhizal colonization was significantly reduced (from 54 to 42%) in 2008 by 75% defoliation, accompanied with a decline in species richness and diversity. On the other hand, sporocarp abundance, richness and diversity were not affected by foliage loss. Some ECM fungal symbionts, which are assumed to have a higher carbon cost according to the morphotypes structure, were reduced due to severe (75%) defoliation. Furthermore, 75% foliage loss consistently depressed tree growth, which in turn affected the ectomycorrhizal growth pattern. Defoliation impact on ECM symbionts largely depends on the percentage of foliage removal and on the number of defoliation bouts. Severe defoliation (75%) in the short term (2 years) changed the composition of the ECM community likely because root biomass would be adjusted to lower levels in parallel with the depletion of the aboveground plant biomass, which probably promoted the competition among mycorrhizal types for host resources. The persistence of fungal biomass in mycorrhizal roots would be crucial for nutrient up-take and recovery from defoliation stress of the host plants.

  10. Ex situ cultivation affects genetic structure and diversity in arable plants.

    PubMed

    Brütting, C; Hensen, I; Wesche, K

    2013-05-01

    Worldwide, botanical gardens cultivate around 80,000 taxa, corresponding to approximately one-quarter of all vascular plants. Most cultivated taxa are, however, held in a small number of collections, and mostly only in small populations. Lack of genetic exchange and stochastic processes in small populations make them susceptible to detrimental genetic effects, which should be most severe in annual species, as sowing cycles are often short. In order to assess whether ex situ cultivation affects genetic diversity of annuals, five annual arable species with similar breeding systems were assessed with 42 in situ populations being compared to 20 ex situ populations using a random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis approach. Population sizes tended to be lower under ex situ cultivation and levels of genetic diversity also tended to be lower in four of the five species, with differences being significant in only two. Ex situ populations showed incomplete representation of alleles found in the wild. The duration of cultivation did not indicate any effect on genetic diversity. This implies that cultivation strategies resulted in different genetic structures in the garden populations. Although not unequivocally pronounced, differences nonetheless imply that conservation strategies in the involved gardens may need improvement. One option is cold storage of seeds, a practice that is not currently followed in the studied ex situ collections. This may reflect that the respective gardens focus on displaying living plant populations.

  11. Ecological context and metapopulation dynamics affect sex-ratio variation among dioecious plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Field, David L.; Pickup, Melinda; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Populations of dioecious flowering plants commonly exhibit heterogeneity in sex ratios and deviations from the equilibrium expectation of equal numbers of females and males. Yet the role of ecological and demographic factors in contributing towards biased sex ratios is currently not well understood. Methods Species-level studies from the literature were analysed to investigate ecological correlates of among-population sex-ratio variation and metapopulation models and empirical data were used to explore the influence of demography and non-equilibrium conditions on flowering sex ratios. Key Results The survey revealed significant among-population heterogeneity in sex ratios and this was related to the degree of sampling effort. For some species, sex-ratio bias was associated with the proportion of non-reproductive individuals, with greater male bias in populations with a lower proportion of individuals that were flowering. Male-biased ratios were also found at higher altitudes and latitudes, and in more xeric sites. Simulations and empirical data indicated that clonal species exhibited greater heterogeneity in sex ratios than non-clonal species as a result of their slower approach to equilibrium. The simulations also indicated the importance of interactions between reproductive mode and founder effects, with greater departures from equilibrium in clonal populations with fewer founding individuals. Conclusions The results indicate that sex-based differences in costs of reproduction and non-equilibrium conditions can each play important roles in affecting flowering sex ratios in populations of dioecious plants. PMID:23444124

  12. Novel ideas for maximising dew collection to aid plant establishment to combat desertification and restore degraded dry and arid lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotzen, Benz

    2014-05-01

    This paper focuses on the potential of dew to provide water to plants and potentially to people as well in remote and difficult to reach areas where rainfall and underground water cannot be harvested. The combat of desertification and the restoration of degraded and desertified dry and arid lands has never been more urgent. A key practical component of this strategy is the restoration of habitat with planting. But for habitat and planting to survive there needs to be an adequate supply of water. In most cases providing water to the plant's roots is vital. In some areas where habitats have been destroyed, sufficient water is immediately available, for example through seasonal rainfall, or it can be harvested to concentrate adequate supplies of water to the roots. However, in arid and hyper arid areas, as well as in some dryland areas, a consistent and adequate supply of water cannot be provided by any conventional proven method. Thus, as the need to combat desertification and to restore desertified dry and arid land increases, so the need to find novel methods of establishing and maintaining planting and thus habitat increases. In more traditional land management scenarios this can be achieved through manipulating landform on a micro and macro scale, for example, by creating catchments, thereby collecting precipitation and directing it to the plants. Where this cannot be done, other means of water supply are usually required. Bainbridge (2007) and others have shown that supplying water to plants is possible through a number of traditional methods, for example, using clay pots. But most of these techniques require an introduced source of water, for example, obtained through water harvesting methods or by delivering water to site in tanks and by water bowser. This can work but requires continuous manpower. It is expensive and can be physically prohibitive in areas where access is difficult and/or remote. The concept of using dew to supply water in drylands is not new

  13. Population rules can apply to individual plants and affect their architecture: an evaluation on the cushion plant Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Puntieri, Javier G.; Damascos, María A.; Llancaqueo, Yanina; Svriz, Maya

    2010-01-01

    Background and aims Plants are regarded as populations of modules such as axes and growth units (GUs, i.e. seasonally produced axis segments). Due to their dense arrays of GUs, cushion plants may resemble crowded plant populations in the way the number of components (GUs in plants, individuals in populations) relates to their individual sizes. Methodology The morphological differentiation of GUs and its relationship with biomass accumulation and plant size were studied for the cushion subshrub Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae), a widespread species in dry areas of Patagonia. In 2009, GUs were sampled from one-quarter of each of 24 adult plants. Within- and between-plant variations in GU length, diameter, number of nodes and biomass were analysed and related to whole-plant size. Principal results Each year, an M. spinosum cushion develops flowering GUs and vegetative GUs. Flowering GUs are larger, twice as numerous and contain two to four times more dry mass (excluding reproductive structures) than vegetative GUs. The hemispherical area of the cushions was positively correlated with the biomass of last-year GUs. The biomass of flowering GUs was negatively correlated with the density of GUs. Mulinum spinosum plants exhibited a notable differentiation between flowering and vegetative GUs, but their axes, i.e. the sequences of GUs, were not differentiated throughout the plants. Flowering GUs comprised a major proportion of each plant's photosynthetic tissues. Conclusions A decrease in the size of flowering GUs and in their number relative to the total number of GUs per plant, parallel to an increase in GU density, is predicted as M. spinosum plants age over years. The assimilative role of vegetative GUs is expected to increase in summer because of their less exposed position in the cushion. These GUs would therefore gain more from warm and dry conditions than flowering GUs. PMID:22476077

  14. Plant species affect colonization patterns and metabolic activity of associated endophytes during phytoremediation of crude oil-contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Fatima, K; Imran, A; Amin, I; Khan, Q M; Afzal, M

    2016-04-01

    Plants coupled with endophytic bacteria hold great potential for the remediation of polluted environment. The colonization patterns and activity of inoculated endophytes in rhizosphere and endosphere of host plant are among the primary factors that may influence the phytoremediation process. However, these colonization patterns and metabolic activity of the inoculated endophytes are in turn controlled by none other than the host plant itself. The present study aims to determine such an interaction specifically for plant-endophyte systems remediating crude oil-contaminated soil. A consortium (AP) of two oil-degrading endophytic bacteria (Acinetobacter sp. strain BRSI56 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain BRRI54) was inoculated to two grasses, Brachiaria mutica and Leptochloa fusca, vegetated in crude oil-contaminated soil. Colonization patterns and metabolic activity of the endophytes were monitored in the rhizosphere and endosphere of the plants. Bacterial augmentation enhanced plant growth and crude oil degradation. Maximum crude oil degradation (78%) was achieved with B. mutica plants inoculated with AP consortium. This degradation was significantly higher than those treatments, where plants and bacteria were used individually or L. fusca and endophytes were used in combination. Moreover, colonization and metabolic activity of the endophytes were higher in the rhizosphere and endosphere of B. mutica than L. fusca. The plant species affected not only colonization pattern and biofilm formation of the inoculated bacteria in the rhizosphere and endosphere of the host plant but also affected the expression of alkane hydroxylase gene, alkB. Hence, the investigation revealed that plant species can affect colonization patterns and metabolic activity of inoculated endophytic bacteria and ultimately the phytoremediation process.

  15. Riparian Vegetation Response to the March 2008 Short-Duration, High-Flow Experiment-Implications of Timing and Frequency of Flood Disturbance on Nonnative Plant Establishment Along the Colorado River Below Glen Canyon Dam

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ralston, Barbara E.

    2010-01-01

    Riparian plant communities exhibit various levels of diversity and richness. These communities are affected by flooding and are vulnerable to colonization by nonnative species. Since 1996, a series of three high-flow experiments (HFE), or water releases designed to mimic natural seasonal flooding, have been conducted at Glen Canyon Dam, Ariz., primarily to determine the effectiveness of using high flows to conserve sediment, a limited resource. These experiments also provide opportunities to examine the susceptibility of riparian plant communities to nonnative species invasions. The third and most recent HFE was conducted from March 5 to 9, 2008, and scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center examined the effects of high flows on riparian vegetation as part of the overall experiment. Total plant species richness, nonnative species richness, percent plant cover, percent organic matter, and total carbon measured from sediment samples were compared for Grand Canyon riparian vegetation zones immediately following the HFE and 6 months later. These comparisons were used to determine if susceptibility to nonnative species establishment varied among riparian vegetation zones and if the timing of the HFE affected nonnative plant establishment success. The 2008 HFE primarily buried vegetation rather than scouring it. Percent nonnative cover did not differ among riparian vegetation zones; however, in the river corridor affected by Glen Canyon Dam operations, nonnative species richness showed significant variation. For example, species richness was significantly greater immediately after and 6 months following the HFE in the hydrologic zone farthest away from the shoreline, the area that represents the oldest riparian zone within the post-dam riparian area. In areas closer to the river channel, tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima X chinensis) seedling establishment occurred (<2 percent cover) in 2008 but not to the extent reported in

  16. Plant-mediated interactions between two herbivores differentially affect a subsequently arriving third herbivore in populations of wild cabbage.

    PubMed

    Kroes, A; Stam, J M; David, A; Boland, W; van Loon, J J A; Dicke, M; Poelman, E H

    2016-11-01

    Plants are part of biodiverse communities and frequently suffer from attack by multiple herbivorous insects. Plant responses to these herbivores are specific for insect feeding guilds: aphids and caterpillars induce different plant phenotypes. Moreover, plants respond differentially to single or dual herbivory, which may cascade into a chain of interactions in terms of resistance to other community members. Whether differential responses to single or dual herbivory have consequences for plant resistance to yet a third herbivore is unknown. We assessed the effects of single or dual herbivory by Brevicoryne brassicae aphids and/or Plutella xylostella caterpillars on resistance of plants from three natural populations of wild cabbage to feeding by caterpillars of Mamestra brassicae. We measured plant gene expression and phytohormone concentrations to illustrate mechanisms involved in induced responses. Performance of both B. brassicae and P. xylostella was reduced when feeding simultaneously with the other herbivore, compared to feeding alone. Gene expression and phytohormone concentrations in plants exposed to dual herbivory were different from those found in plants exposed to herbivory by either insect alone. Plants previously induced by both P. xylostella and B. brassicae negatively affected growth of the subsequently arriving M. brassicae. Furthermore, induced responses varied between wild cabbage populations. Feeding by multiple herbivores differentially activates plant defences, which has plant-mediated negative consequences for a subsequently arriving herbivore. Plant population-specific responses suggest that plant populations adapt to the specific communities of insect herbivores. Our study contributes to the understanding of plant defence plasticity in response to multiple insect attacks.

  17. Parental Age Affects Somatic Mutation Rates in the Progeny of Flowering Plants1

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Bashir, Tufail; Sailer, Christian; Gurumoorthy, Viswanathan; Ramakrishnan, Anantha Maharasi; Dhanapal, Shanmuhapreya; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Baskar, Ramamurthy

    2015-01-01

    In humans, it is well known that the parental reproductive age has a strong influence on mutations transmitted to their progeny. Meiotic nondisjunction is known to increase in older mothers, and base substitutions tend to go up with paternal reproductive age. Hence, it is clear that the germinal mutation rates are a function of both maternal and paternal ages in humans. In contrast, it is unknown whether the parental reproductive age has an effect on somatic mutation rates in the progeny, because these are rare and difficult to detect. To address this question, we took advantage of the plant model system Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), where mutation detector lines allow for an easy quantitation of somatic mutations, to test the effect of parental age on somatic mutation rates in the progeny. Although we found no significant effect of parental age on base substitutions, we found that frameshift mutations and transposition events increased in the progeny of older parents, an effect that is stronger through the maternal line. In contrast, intrachromosomal recombination events in the progeny decrease with the age of the parents in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner. Our results clearly show that parental reproductive age affects somatic mutation rates in the progeny and, thus, that some form of age-dependent information, which affects the frequency of double-strand breaks and possibly other processes involved in maintaining genome integrity, is transmitted through the gametes. PMID:25810093

  18. Plant maturity and nitrogen fertilization affected fructan metabolism in harvestable tissues of timothy (Phleum pratense L.).

    PubMed

    Ould-Ahmed, Marouf; Decau, Marie-Laure; Morvan-Bertrand, Annette; Prud'homme, Marie-Pascale; Lafrenière, Carole; Drouin, Pascal

    2014-10-15

    Timothy (Phleum pratense L.) is an important grass forage used for pasture, hay, and silage in regions with cool and humid growth seasons. One of the factors affecting the nutritive value of this grass is the concentration of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), mainly represented by fructans. NSC concentration depends on multiple factors, making it hardly predictable. To provide a better understanding of NSC metabolism in timothy, the effects of maturity stage and nitrogen (N) fertilization level on biomass, NSC and N-compound concentrations were investigated in the tissues used for forage (leaf blades and stems surrounded by leaf sheaths) of hydroponically grown plants. Moreover, activities and relative expression level of enzymes involved in fructan metabolism were measured in the same tissues. Forage biomass was not altered by the fertilization level but was strongly modified by the stage of development. It increased from vegetative to heading stages while leaf-to-stem biomass ratio decreased. Total NSC concentration, which was not altered by N fertilization level, increased between heading and anthesis due to an accumulation of fructans in leaf blades. Fructan metabolizing enzyme activities (fructosyltransferase-FT and fructan exohydrolase-FEH) were not or only slightly altered by both maturity stage and N fertilization level. Conversely, the relative transcript levels of genes coding for enzymes involved in fructan metabolism were modified by N supply (PpFT1 and Pp6-FEH1) or maturity stage (PpFT2). The relative transcript level of PpFT1 was the highest in low N plants while that of Pp6-FEH1 was the highest in high N plants. Morevoer, transcript level of PpFT1 was negatively correlated with nitrate concentration while that of PpFT2 was positively correlated with sucrose concentration. This distinct regulation of the two genes coding for 6-sucrose:fructan fructosyltransferase (6-SFT) may allow a fine adequation of C allocation towards fructan synthesis in

  19. Soil organic matter and salinity affect copper bioavailability in root zone and uptake by Vicia faba L. plants.

    PubMed

    Matijevic, Lana; Romic, Davor; Romic, Marija

    2014-10-01

    Processes that control the mobility, transformation and toxicity of metals in soil are of special importance in the root-developing zone. For this reason, there is a considerable interest in understanding trace elements (TEs) behavior in soil, emphasising the processes by which plants take them up. Increased root-zone salinity can affect plant TEs uptake and accumulation in plant tissue. Furthermore, copper (Cu) complexation by soil organic matter (SOM) is an effective mechanism of Cu retention in soils, controlling thus its bioavailability. Therefore, a greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to study the effects of soil Cu contamination in a saline environment on faba bean (Vicia faba L.) element uptake. Treatment with NaCl salinity was applied (control, 50 mM NaCl and 100 mM NaCl) on faba bean plants grown in a control and in a soil spiked with Cu (250 and 500 mg kg(-1)). Low and high SOM content trial variants were studied. Cu accumulation occurred in faba bean leaf, pod and seed. Cu contamination affected plant element concentrations in leaves (Na, Ca, Mg, Mn), pod (Zn, Mn) and seed (Mn, Mo, Zn). Root-zone salinity also affected faba bean element concentrations. Furthermore, Cu contamination-salinity and salinity-SOM interactions were significant for pod Cu concentration, suggesting that Cu phytoavailability could be affected by these interactions. Future research will be focused on the mechanisms of Cu translocation in plant and adaptation aspects of abiotic stress.

  20. Effects of plant species richness on 13C assimilate partitioning in artificial grasslands of different established ages

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Longhua; Yao, Buqing; Wang, Wenying; Wang, Fangping; Zhou, Huakun; Shi, Jianjun; Zhao, Xinquan

    2017-01-01

    Artificial grasslands play a role in carbon storage on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. The artificial grasslands exhibit decreased proportions of graminate and increased species richness with age. However, the effect of the graminate proportions and species richness on ecosystem C stocks in artificial grasslands have not been elucidated. We conducted an in situ13C pulse-labeling experiment in August 2012 using artificial grasslands that had been established for two years (2Y), five years (5Y), and twelve years (12Y). Each region was plowed fallow from severely degraded alpine meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The 12Y grassland had moderate proportions of graminate and the highest species richness. This region showed more recovered 13C in soil and a longer mean residence time, which suggests species richness controls the ecosystem C stock. The loss rate of leaf-assimilated C of the graminate-dominant plant species Elymus nutans in artificial grasslands of different ages was lowest in the 12Y grassland, which also had the highest species richness. Thus the lower loss rate of leaf-assimilated C can be partially responsible for the larger ecosystem carbon stocks in the 12Y grassland. This finding is a novel mechanism for the effects of species richness on the increase in ecosystem functioning. PMID:28067300

  1. Effects of plant species richness on 13C assimilate partitioning in artificial grasslands of different established ages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Longhua; Yao, Buqing; Wang, Wenying; Wang, Fangping; Zhou, Huakun; Shi, Jianjun; Zhao, Xinquan

    2017-01-01

    Artificial grasslands play a role in carbon storage on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. The artificial grasslands exhibit decreased proportions of graminate and increased species richness with age. However, the effect of the graminate proportions and species richness on ecosystem C stocks in artificial grasslands have not been elucidated. We conducted an in situ13C pulse-labeling experiment in August 2012 using artificial grasslands that had been established for two years (2Y), five years (5Y), and twelve years (12Y). Each region was plowed fallow from severely degraded alpine meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The 12Y grassland had moderate proportions of graminate and the highest species richness. This region showed more recovered 13C in soil and a longer mean residence time, which suggests species richness controls the ecosystem C stock. The loss rate of leaf-assimilated C of the graminate-dominant plant species Elymus nutans in artificial grasslands of different ages was lowest in the 12Y grassland, which also had the highest species richness. Thus the lower loss rate of leaf-assimilated C can be partially responsible for the larger ecosystem carbon stocks in the 12Y grassland. This finding is a novel mechanism for the effects of species richness on the increase in ecosystem functioning.

  2. Effects of plant species richness on (13)C assimilate partitioning in artificial grasslands of different established ages.

    PubMed

    Xu, Longhua; Yao, Buqing; Wang, Wenying; Wang, Fangping; Zhou, Huakun; Shi, Jianjun; Zhao, Xinquan

    2017-01-09

    Artificial grasslands play a role in carbon storage on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The artificial grasslands exhibit decreased proportions of graminate and increased species richness with age. However, the effect of the graminate proportions and species richness on ecosystem C stocks in artificial grasslands have not been elucidated. We conducted an in situ(13)C pulse-labeling experiment in August 2012 using artificial grasslands that had been established for two years (2Y), five years (5Y), and twelve years (12Y). Each region was plowed fallow from severely degraded alpine meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The 12Y grassland had moderate proportions of graminate and the highest species richness. This region showed more recovered (13)C in soil and a longer mean residence time, which suggests species richness controls the ecosystem C stock. The loss rate of leaf-assimilated C of the graminate-dominant plant species Elymus nutans in artificial grasslands of different ages was lowest in the 12Y grassland, which also had the highest species richness. Thus the lower loss rate of leaf-assimilated C can be partially responsible for the larger ecosystem carbon stocks in the 12Y grassland. This finding is a novel mechanism for the effects of species richness on the increase in ecosystem functioning.

  3. Alkaloid Quantities in Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue are Affected by the Plant-Fungus Combination and Environment.

    PubMed

    Helander, M; Phillips, T; Faeth, S H; Bush, L P; McCulley, R; Saloniemi, I; Saikkonen, K

    2016-02-01

    Many grass species are symbiotic with systemic, vertically-transmitted, asymptomatic Epichloë endophytic fungi. These fungi often produce alkaloids that defend the host against herbivores. We studied how environmental variables affect alkaloids in endophyte-infected tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix) from three Northern European wild origins and the widely planted US cultivar 'Kentucky-31' (KY31). The plants were grown in identical common garden experiments in Finland and Kentucky for two growing seasons. Plants were left as controls (C) or given water (W), nutrient (N) or water and nutrient (WN) treatments. For 8-10 replications of each plant origin and treatment combination in both experiments, we analyzed ergot alkaloids, lysergic acid, and lolines. In Finland, tall fescue plants produced 50 % more ergot alkaloids compared to plants of the same origin and treatments in Kentucky. Origin of the plants affected the ergot alkaloid concentration at both study sites: the wild origin plants produced 2-4 times more ergot alkaloids than KY31, but the ergot alkaloid concentration of KY31 plants was the same at both locations. Overall lysergic acid content was 60 % higher in plants grown in Kentucky than in those grown in Finland. Nutrient treatments (N, WN) significantly increased ergot alkaloid concentrations in plants from Finland but not in plants from Kentucky. These results suggest that the success of KY31 in US is not due to selection for high ergot alkaloid production but rather other traits associated with the endophyte. In addition, the environmental effects causing variation in alkaloid production of grass-endophyte combinations should be taken into account when using endophyte-infected grasses agriculturally.

  4. Herbivory Differentially Affects Plant Fitness in Three Populations of the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria along a Latitudinal Gradient.

    PubMed

    Lehndal, Lina; Ågren, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory can negatively and selectively affect plant fitness by reducing growth, survival and reproductive output, thereby influencing plant population dynamics and evolution. Latitudinal variation in intensity of herbivory is common, but the extent to which it translates into corresponding variation in effects on plant performance is still poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the fitness-consequences of herbivory mirror differences in intensity of herbivory among three natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a latitudinal gradient from southern to northernmost Sweden. We documented intensity of herbivory and examined its effect on survival, growth and reproductive output over two years by experimentally removing herbivores with insecticide. The intensity of herbivory and the effects of herbivory on plant fitness were strongest in the southern population, intermediate in the central population and weakest in the northern population. The mean proportion of the leaf area removed ranged from 11% in the southern to 3% in the northern population. Herbivore removal increased plant height 1.5-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, the proportion plants flowering 4-fold in the southern and 2-fold in the central population, and seed production per flower 1.6-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, but did not affect plant fitness in the northern population. Herbivore removal thus affected the relative fecundity of plants in the three populations: In the control, seed output per plant was 8.6 times higher in the northern population compared to the southern population, whereas after herbivore removal it was 2.5 times higher in the southern population. The results demonstrate that native herbivores may strongly affect the demographic structure of L. salicaria populations and thereby shape geographic patterns of seed production. They further suggest that the strength of herbivore

  5. [Establishment of embryogenic cell suspension culture and plant regeneration of edible banana Musa acuminata cv. Mas (AA)].

    PubMed

    Wei, Yue-Rong; Huang, Xue-Lin; Li, Jia; Huang, Xia; Li, Zhe; Li, Xiao-Ju

    2005-01-01

    Conventional breeding for dual resistance of disease and pest of Musa cultivars remains a difficult endeavor, as the plant is polyploidic and high in sterility. Biotechnological techniques, eg., genetic engineering, in vitro mutation breeding, or protoplast fusion, may overcome the difficulties and improve the germplasm. Establishment of a stable embryogenic cell suspension (ECS) is a prerequisite for any of the biotechnological breeding methods. In this study an embryogenic cell suspension was established from immature male flower of Musa acuminata cv. Mas (AA), a popular commercial variety of banana in the South-East Asian region. After culture for 5-6 months on callus induction media, which consisted of MS salts, different concentrations of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4.1 micromol/L biotin, 5.7 micromol/L indoleacetic acid (IAA), 5.4 micromol/L naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), other vitamins, 87 mmol/L sucrose, and solidified with 7 g/L agarose, meristematic globules and yellow, friable embryogenic cultures were induced from the explants of 1-15th row young floral hands of immature male flowers. Of the four treatments of 2,4-D, 9 micromol/L was the most effective on the callus induction, it transformed 40.96% and 7.45% of the cultivated male floral hands into callus and embryogenic callus respectively. The explants to produce highest frequency of the embryogenic calli were floral hands of 6 to 12th rows, which generated 5.79% of the embryogenic calli. Suspension cultures were initiated from these embryogenic calli in liquid medium supplemented with 4.5 micromol/L 2, 4-D. After sieving selection of the cultures using a stainless steel metallic strainer with pore sizes of 154 microm at 15 day intervals for 3 months, homogeneous and yellow embryogenic cell suspensions, composed of single cells and small cell aggregates, were established. Based upon the growth quantity and growth rate of ECS, it was determined that the appropriate inoculum was 2.0 mL PCV

  6. Rhizosphere Microbial Community Composition Affects Cadmium and Zinc Uptake by the Metal-Hyperaccumulating Plant Arabidopsis halleri

    PubMed Central

    Muehe, E. Marie; Weigold, Pascal; Adaktylou, Irini J.; Planer-Friedrich, Britta; Kraemer, Ute; Kappler, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The remediation of metal-contaminated soils by phytoextraction depends on plant growth and plant metal accessibility. Soil microorganisms can affect the accumulation of metals by plants either by directly or indirectly stimulating plant growth and activity or by (im)mobilizing and/or complexing metals. Understanding the intricate interplay of metal-accumulating plants with their rhizosphere microbiome is an important step toward the application and optimization of phytoremediation. We compared the effects of a “native” and a strongly disturbed (gamma-irradiated) soil microbial communities on cadmium and zinc accumulation by the plant Arabidopsis halleri in soil microcosm experiments. A. halleri accumulated 100% more cadmium and 15% more zinc when grown on the untreated than on the gamma-irradiated soil. Gamma irradiation affected neither plant growth nor the 1 M HCl-extractable metal content of the soil. However, it strongly altered the soil microbial community composition and overall cell numbers. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of DNA extracted from rhizosphere samples of A. halleri identified microbial taxa (Lysobacter, Streptomyces, Agromyces, Nitrospira, “Candidatus Chloracidobacterium”) of higher relative sequence abundance in the rhizospheres of A. halleri plants grown on untreated than on gamma-irradiated soil, leading to hypotheses on their potential effect on plant metal uptake. However, further experimental evidence is required, and wherefore we discuss different mechanisms of interaction of A. halleri with its rhizosphere microbiome that might have directly or indirectly affected plant metal accumulation. Deciphering the complex interactions between A. halleri and individual microbial taxa will help to further develop soil metal phytoextraction as an efficient and sustainable remediation strategy. PMID:25595759

  7. The Gastropod Menace: Slugs on Brassica Plants Affect Caterpillar Survival through Consumption and Interference with Parasitoid Attraction.

    PubMed

    Desurmont, Gaylord A; Zemanova, Miriam A; Turlings, Ted C J

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial molluscs and insect herbivores play a major role as plant consumers in a number of ecosystems, but their direct and indirect interactions have hardly been explored. The omnivorous nature of slugs makes them potential disrupters of predator-prey relationships, as a direct threat to small insects and through indirect, plant-mediated effects. Here, we examined the effects of the presence of two species of slugs, Arion rufus (native) and A. vulgaris (invasive) on the survivorship of young Pieris brassicae caterpillars when feeding on Brassica rapa plants, and on plant attractiveness to the main natural enemy of P. brassicae, the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata. In two separate predation experiments, caterpillar mortality was significantly higher on plants co-infested with A. rufus or A. vulgaris. Moreover, caterpillar mortality correlated positively with slug mass and leaf consumption by A. vulgaris. At the third trophic level, plants infested with slugs and plants co-infested with slugs and caterpillars were far less attractive to parasitoids than plants damaged by caterpillars only, independently of slug species. Chemical analyses confirmed that volatile emissions, which provide foraging cues for parasitoids, were strongly reduced in co-infested plants. Our study shows that the presence of slugs has the potential to affect insect populations, directly via consumptive effects, and indirectly via changes in plant volatiles that result in a reduced attraction of natural enemies. The fitness cost for P. brassicae imposed by increased mortality in presence of slugs may be counterbalanced by the benefit of escaping its parasitoids.

  8. Aphids Pick Their Poison: Selective Sequestration of Plant Chemicals Affects Host Plant Use in a Specialist Herbivore.

    PubMed

    Goodey, Nicole A; Florance, Hannah V; Smirnoff, Nicholas; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-10-01

    In some plant-insect interactions, specialist herbivores exploit the chemical defenses of their food plant to their own advantage. Brassica plants produce glucosinolates that are broken down into defensive toxins when tissue is damaged, but the specialist aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae, uses these chemicals against its own natural enemies by becoming a "walking mustard-oil bomb". Analysis of glucosinolate concentrations in plant tissue and associated aphid colonies reveals that not only do aphids sequester glucosinolates, but they do so selectively. Aphids specifically accumulate sinigrin to high concentrations while preferentially excreting a structurally similar glucosinolate, progoitrin. Surveys of aphid infestation in wild populations of Brassica oleracea show that this pattern of sequestration and excretion maps onto host plant use. The probability of aphid infestation decreases with increasing concentrations of progoitrin in plants. Brassica brassicae, therefore, appear to select among food plants according to plant secondary metabolite profiles, and selectively store only some compounds that are used against their own enemies. The results demonstrate chemical and behavioral mechanisms that help to explain evidence of geographic patterns and evolutionary dynamics in Brassica-aphid interactions.

  9. Arabidopsis thaliana plants with different levels of aliphatic- and indolyl-glucosinolates affect host selection and performance of Bemisia tabaci.

    PubMed

    Markovich, Oshry; Kafle, Dinesh; Elbaz, Moshe; Malitsky, Sergey; Aharoni, Asaph; Schwarzkopf, Alexander; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Morin, Shai

    2013-12-01

    Generalist insects show reduced selectivity when subjected to similar, but not identical, host plant chemical signatures. Here, we produced transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants that over-express genes regulating the aliphatic- and indolyl- glucosinolates biosynthetic pathways with either a constitutive (CaMV 35S) or a phloem-specific promoter (AtSUC2). This allowed us to examine how exposure to high levels of aliphatic- or indolyl-glucosinolates in homogenous habitats (leaf cage apparatus containing two wild-type or two transgenic leaves) and heterogeneous habitats (leaf cage apparatus containing one wild-type and one transgenic leaf) affects host selection and performance of Bemsia tabaci, a generalist phloem-feeding insect. Data from homogenous habitats indicated that exposure to A. thaliana plants accumulating high levels of aliphatic- or indolyl-glucosinolates negatively affected the performance of both adult females and nymphs of B. tabaci. Data from heterogeneous habitats indicated that B. tabaci adult females selected for oviposition plants on which their offspring perform better (preference-performance relationship). However, the combinations of wild-type and transgenic plants in heterogeneous habitats increased the period of time until the first choice was made and led to increased movement rate on transgenic plants, and reduced fecundity on wild-type plants. Overall, our findings are consistent with the view that both performance and selectivity of B. tabaci decrease in heterogeneous habitats that contain plants with closely-related chemical signatures.

  10. Parameters affecting the efficient delivery of mesoporous silica nanoparticle materials and gold nanorods into plant tissues by the biolistic method.

    PubMed

    Martin-Ortigosa, Susana; Valenstein, Justin S; Sun, Wei; Moeller, Lorena; Fang, Ning; Trewyn, Brian G; Lin, Victor S-Y; Wang, Kan

    2012-02-06

    Applying nanotechnology to plant science requires efficient systems for the delivery of nanoparticles (NPs) to plant cells and tissues. The presence of a cell wall in plant cells makes it challenging to extend the NP delivery methods available for animal research. In this work, research is presented which establishes an efficient NP delivery system for plant tissues using the biolistic method. It is shown that the biolistic delivery of mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN) materials can be improved by increasing the density of MSNs through gold plating. Additionally, a DNA-coating protocol is used based on calcium chloride and spermidine for MSN and gold nanorods to enhance the NP-mediated DNA delivery. Furthermore, the drastic improvement of NP delivery is demonstrated when the particles are combined with 0.6 μm gold particles during bombardment. The methodology described provides a system for the efficient delivery of NPs into plant cells using the biolistic method.

  11. Polycomb Protein OsFIE2 Affects Plant Height and Grain Yield in Rice

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Zhonghua; Jiao, Guiai; Tang, Shaoqing; Luo, Ju; Hu, Peisong

    2016-01-01

    Polycomb group (PcG) proteins have been shown to affect growth and development in plants. To further elucidate their role in these processes in rice, we isolated and characterized a rice mutant which exhibits dwarfism, reduced seed setting rate, defective floral organ, and small grains. Map-based cloning revealed that abnormal phenotypes were attributed to a mutation of the Fertilization Independent Endosperm 2 (OsFIE2) protein, which belongs to the PcG protein family. So we named the mutant as osfie2-1. Histological analysis revealed that the number of longitudinal cells in the internodes decreased in osfie2-1, and that lateral cell layer of the internodes was markedly thinner than wild-type. In addition, compared to wild-type, the number of large and small vascular bundles decreased in osfie2-1, as well as cell number and cell size in spikelet hulls. OsFIE2 is expressed in most tissues and the coded protein localizes in both nucleus and cytoplasm. Yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays demonstrated that OsFIE2 interacts with OsiEZ1 which encodes an enhancer of zeste protein previously identified as a histone methylation enzyme. RNA sequencing-based transcriptome profiling and qRT-PCR analysis revealed that some homeotic genes and genes involved in endosperm starch synthesis, cell division/expansion and hormone synthesis and signaling are differentially expressed between osfie2-1 and wild-type. In addition, the contents of IAA, GA3, ABA, JA and SA in osfie2-1 are significantly different from those in wild-type. Taken together, these results indicate that OsFIE2 plays an important role in the regulation of plant height and grain yield in rice. PMID:27764161

  12. Above- and belowground linkages in Sphagnum peatland: climate warming affects plant-microbial interactions.

    PubMed

    Jassey, Vincent E J; Chiapusio, Geneviève; Binet, Philippe; Buttler, Alexandre; Laggoun-Défarge, Fatima; Delarue, Frédéric; Bernard, Nadine; Mitchell, Edward A D; Toussaint, Marie-Laure; Francez, André-Jean; Gilbert, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Peatlands contain approximately one third of all soil organic carbon (SOC). Warming can alter above- and belowground linkages that regulate soil organic carbon dynamics and C-balance in peatlands. Here we examine the multiyear impact of in situ experimental warming on the microbial food web, vegetation, and their feedbacks with soil chemistry. We provide evidence of both positive and negative impacts of warming on specific microbial functional groups, leading to destabilization of the microbial food web. We observed a strong reduction (70%) in the biomass of top-predators (testate amoebae) in warmed plots. Such a loss caused a shortening of microbial food chains, which in turn stimulated microbial activity, leading to slight increases in levels of nutrients and labile C in water. We further show that warming altered the regulatory role of Sphagnum-polyphenols on microbial community structure with a potential inhibition of top predators. In addition, warming caused a decrease in Sphagnum cover and an increase in vascular plant cover. Using structural equation modelling, we show that changes in the microbial food web affected the relationships between plants, soil water chemistry, and microbial communities. These results suggest that warming will destabilize C and nutrient recycling of peatlands via changes in above- and belowground linkages, and therefore, the microbial food web associated with mosses will feedback positively to global warming by destabilizing the carbon cycle. This study confirms that microbial food webs thus constitute a key element in the functioning of peatland ecosystems. Their study can help understand how mosses, as ecosystem engineers, tightly regulate biogeochemical cycling and climate feedback in peatlands.

  13. A pathway of bisphenol A affecting mineral element contents in plant roots at different growth stages.

    PubMed

    Xia, Binxin; Wang, Lihong; Nie, Lijun; Zhou, Qing; Huang, Xiaohua

    2017-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental endocrine disruptor, is an important industrial raw material. The wide use of BPA has increased the risk of BPA release into the environment, and it has become a new environmental pollutant. In this work, the ecological deleterious effects of this new pollutant on soybean roots at different growth stages were investigated by determining the contents of mineral elements (P, K, Ca, and Mg) and analyzing root activity and the activities of critical respiratory enzymes (hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase). Our results revealed that low dose (1.5mg/L) of BPA increased the levels of P, K, Mg, and Ca in soybean roots at different growth stages. Whereas, high doses (6.0 and 12.0mg/L) of BPA decreased the levels of P, K, and Mg contents in a dose-dependent manner. BPA had a promotive effect on the content of Ca in soybean roots. Synchronous observation showed that the aforementioned dual response to BPA were also observed in the root activity and respiratory enzyme activities. The effects of BPA on the mineral element contents, root activity and respiratory enzyme activities in soybean roots at different growth stages followed the order: flowering and podding stage>seed-filling stage>seedling stage (mineral element contents); seedling stage>flowering and podding stage>seed-filling stage (root activity and respiratory enzyme activities). In a word, the response of plant root activity and respiratory enzyme activities to BPA pollution is a pathway of BPA affecting mineral element contents in plant roots.

  14. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  15. Species-abundance--seed-size patterns within a plant community affected by grazing disturbance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gao-lin; Shang, Zhan-huan; Zhu, Yuan-jun; Ding, Lu-ming; Wang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    Seed size has been advanced as a key factor that influences the dynamics of plant communities, but there are few empirical or theoretical predictions of how community dynamics progress based on seed size patterns. Information on the abundance of adults, seedlings, soil seed banks, seed rains, and the seed mass of 96 species was collected in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China), which had different levels of grazing disturbance. The relationships between seed-mass-abundance patterns for adults, seedlings, the soil seed bank, and seed rain in the plant community were evaluated using regression models. Results showed that grazing levels affected the relationship between seed size and abundance properties of adult species, seedlings, and the soil seed bank, suggesting that there is a shift in seed-size--species-abundance relationships as a response to the grazing gradient. Grazing had no effect on the pattern of seed-size-seed-rain-abundance at four grazing levels. Grazing also had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--species-abundance and pattern of seed-size--soil-seed-bank-abundance in meadows with no grazing, light grazing, and moderate grazing), but there was a significant negative effect in meadows with heavy grazing. Grazing had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--seedling-abundance with no grazing, but had significant negative effects with light, moderate, and heavy grazing, and the |r| values increased with grazing levels. This indicated that increasing grazing pressure enhanced the advantage of smaller-seeded species in terms of the abundances of adult species, seedlings, and soil seed banks, whereas only the light grazing level promoted the seed rain abundance of larger-seeded species in the plant communities. This study suggests that grazing disturbances are favorable for increasing the species abundance for smaller-seeded species but not for the larger-seeded species in an alpine meadow community. Hence, there is a clear

  16. Cytonuclear interactions affect adaptive traits of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in the field

    PubMed Central

    Roux, Fabrice; Mary-Huard, Tristan; Barillot, Elise; Wenes, Estelle; Botran, Lucy; Durand, Stéphanie; Villoutreix, Romain; Martin-Magniette, Marie-Laure; Camilleri, Christine; Budar, Françoise

    2016-01-01

    Although the contribution of cytonuclear interactions to plant fitness variation is relatively well documented at the interspecific level, the prevalence of cytonuclear interactions at the intraspecific level remains poorly investigated. In this study, we set up a field experiment to explore the range of effects that cytonuclear interactions have on fitness-related traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. To do so, we created a unique series of 56 cytolines resulting from cytoplasmic substitutions among eight natural accessions reflecting within-species genetic diversity. An assessment of these cytolines and their parental lines scored for 28 adaptive whole-organism phenotypes showed that a large proportion of phenotypic traits (23 of 28) were affected by cytonuclear interactions. The effects of these interactions varied from slight but frequent across cytolines to strong in some specific parental pairs. Two parental pairs accounted for half of the significant pairwise interactions. In one parental pair, Ct-1/Sha, we observed symmetrical phenotypic responses between the two nuclear backgrounds when combined with specific cytoplasms, suggesting nuclear differentiation at loci involved in cytonuclear epistasis. In contrast, asymmetrical phenotypic responses were observed in another parental pair, Cvi-0/Sha. In the Cvi-0 nuclear background, fecundity and phenology-related traits were strongly affected by the Sha cytoplasm, leading to a modified reproductive strategy without penalizing total seed production. These results indicate that natural variation in cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes interact to shape integrative traits that contribute to adaptation, thereby suggesting that cytonuclear interactions can play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics of A. thaliana. PMID:26979961

  17. Severe dry winter affects plant phenology and carbon balance of a cork oak woodland understorey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, A. C.; Costa-e-Silva, F.; Dubbert, M.; Piayda, A.; Pereira, J. S.

    2016-10-01

    Mediterranean climates are prone to a great variation in yearly precipitation. The effects on ecosystem will depend on the severity and timing of droughts. In this study we questioned how an extreme dry winter affects the carbon flux in the understorey of a cork oak woodland? What is the seasonal contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem productivity? We used closed-system portable chambers to measure CO2 exchange of the dominant shrub species (Cistus salviifolius, Cistus crispus and Ulex airensis), of the herbaceous layer and on bare soil in a cork oak woodland in central Portugal during the dry winter year of 2012. Shoot growth, leaf shedding, flower and fruit setting, above and belowground plant biomass were measured as well as seasonal leaf water potential. Eddy-covariance and micrometeorological data together with CO2 exchange measurements were used to access the understorey species contribution to ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP). The herbaceous layer productivity was severely affected by the dry winter, with half of the yearly maximum aboveground biomass in comparison with the 6 years site average. The semi-deciduous and evergreen shrubs showed desynchronized phenophases and lagged carbon uptake maxima. Whereas shallow-root shrubs exhibited opportunistic characteristics in exploiting the understorey light and water resources, deep rooted shrubs showed better water status but considerably lower assimilation rates. The contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem GPP was lower during summer with 14% and maximum during late spring, concomitantly with the lowest tree productivity due to tree canopy renewal. The herbaceous vegetation contribution to ecosystem GPP never exceeded 6% during this dry year stressing its sensitivity to winter and spring precipitation. Although shrubs are more resilient to precipitation variability when compared with the herbaceous vegetation, the contribution of the understorey vegetation to ecosystem GPP can

  18. Spatial gradient in nitrogen deposition affects plant species frequency in acidic grasslands.

    PubMed

    Pannek, A; Duprè, C; Gowing, D J G; Stevens, C J; Diekmann, M

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic eutrophication impacts ecosystems worldwide. Here, we use a vegetation dataset from semi-natural grasslands on acidic soils sampled along a gradient in north-western Europe to examine the response of species frequency to nitrogen (N) deposition, controlling for the effects of other environmental variables. A second dataset of acidic grasslands from Germany and the Netherlands containing plots from different time periods was analysed to examine whether the results of the spatial gradient approach coincided with temporal changes in the abundance of species. Out of 44 studied species, 16 were affected by N deposition, 12 of them negatively. Soil pH and phosphorus (P) influenced 24 and 14 species, respectively, predominantly positively. Fewer species were related to the soil contents of NO3(-) or NH4(+), with no significant differences between the number of positive and negative effects. Whereas the temporal change of species was unrelated to their responses to pH, species responding negatively to N deposition, soil P and NO3(-) showed a significant decline over time in both countries. Species that were negatively affected by high N deposition and/or high soil P also showed a negative temporal trend and could be characterised by short stature and slow growth. The results confirm the negative role of N deposition for many plant species in semi-natural acidic grasslands. The negative temporal trends of species sensitive to high N deposition and soil P values clearly show a need for maintaining low soil nutrient status and for restoring the formerly infertile conditions in nutrient-enriched grasslands.

  19. Establishing a food-chain link between aquatic plant material and avian vacuolar myelinopathy in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).

    PubMed

    Birrenkott, Anna H; Wilde, Susan B; Hains, John J; Fischer, John R; Murphy, Thomas M; Hope, Charlotte P; Parnell, Pamela G; Bowerman, William W

    2004-07-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease primarily affecting bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana). The disease was first characterized in bald eagles in Arkansas in 1994 and then in American coots in 1996. To date, AVM has been confirmed in six additional avian species. Attempts to identify the etiology of AVM have been unsuccessful to date. The objective of this study was to evaluate dermal and oral routes of exposure of birds to hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) and associated materials to evaluate their ability to induce AVM. Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were used in all trials; bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) also were used in one fresh hydrilla material exposure trial. Five trials were conducted, including two fresh hydrilla material exposure trials, two cyanobacteria exposure trials, and a frozen hydrilla material exposure trial. The cyanobacteria exposure trials and frozen hydrilla material trial involved gavaging mallards with either Pseudanabaena catenata (live culture), Hapalosiphon fontinalis, or frozen hydrilla material with both cyanobacteria species present. With the exception of one fresh hydrilla exposure trial, results were negative or inconclusive. In the 2002 hydrilla material exposure trial, six of nine treated ducks had histologic lesions of AVM. This established the first cause-effect link between aquatic vegetation and AVM and provided evidence supporting an aquatic source for the causal agent.

  20. Establishment of uncertainty ranges and probability distributions of actinide solubilities for performance assessment in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

    SciTech Connect

    Long, Jennifer; Nowak, Jim; Ismail, Ahmed E.; Brush, Laurence H.; Xiong, Yongliang

    2010-03-01

    The Fracture-Matrix Transport (FMT) code developed at Sandia National Laboratories solves chemical equilibrium problems using the Pitzer activity coefficient model with a database containing actinide species. The code is capable of predicting actinide solubilities at 25 C in various ionic-strength solutions from dilute groundwaters to high-ionic-strength brines. The code uses oxidation state analogies, i.e., Am(III) is used to predict solubilities of actinides in the +III oxidation state; Th(IV) is used to predict solubilities of actinides in the +IV state; Np(V) is utilized to predict solubilities of actinides in the +V state. This code has been qualified for predicting actinide solubilities for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Compliance Certification Application in 1996, and Compliance Re-Certification Applications in 2004 and 2009. We have established revised actinide-solubility uncertainty ranges and probability distributions for Performance Assessment (PA) by comparing actinide solubilities predicted by the FMT code with solubility data in various solutions from the open literature. The literature data used in this study include solubilities in simple solutions (NaCl, NaHCO{sub 3}, Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}, NaClO{sub 4}, KCl, K{sub 2}CO{sub 3}, etc.), binary mixing solutions (NaCl+NaHCO{sub 3}, NaCl+Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}, KCl+K{sub 2}CO{sub 3}, etc.), ternary mixing solutions (NaCl+Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}+KCl, NaHCO{sub 3}+Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}+NaClO{sub 4}, etc.), and multi-component synthetic brines relevant to the WIPP.

  1. Identification of viral and phytoplasmal agents responsible for diseases affecting plants of Gaillardia Foug. in Lithuania

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gaillardia plants exhibiting symptoms characteristic of viral and phytoplasmal diseases were collected at botanical gardens and floriculture farms in Lithuania. Cucumber mosaic virus was isolated from diseased plants exhibiting symptoms characterized stunting, color breaking and malformation of flo...

  2. Acclimations to light quality on plant and leaf level affect the vulnerability of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) to water deficit.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Anna M; Noga, Georg; Hunsche, Mauricio

    2015-03-01

    We investigated the influence of light quality on the vulnerability of pepper plants to water deficit. For this purpose plants were cultivated either under compact fluorescence lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diodes (LED) providing similar photon fluence rates (95 µmol m(-2) s(-1)) but distinct light quality. CFL emit a wide-band spectrum with dominant peaks in the green and red spectral region, whereas LEDs offer narrow band spectra with dominant peaks at blue (445 nm) and red (665 nm) regions. After one-week acclimation to light conditions plants were exposed to water deficit by withholding irrigation; this period was followed by a one-week regeneration period and a second water deficit cycle. In general, plants grown under CFL suffered more from water deficit than plants grown under LED modules, as indicated by the impairment of the photosynthetic efficiency of PSII, resulting in less biomass accumulation compared to respective control plants. As affected by water shortage, plants grown under CFL had a stronger decrease in the electron transport rate (ETR) and more pronounced increase in heat dissipation (NPQ). The higher amount of blue light suppressed plant growth and biomass formation, and consequently reduced the water demand of plants grown under LEDs. Moreover, pepper plants exposed to high blue light underwent adjustments at chloroplast level (e.g., higher Chl a/Chl b ratio), increasing the photosynthetic performance under the LED spectrum. Differently than expected, stomatal conductance was comparable for water-deficit and control plants in both light conditions during the stress and recovery phases, indicating only minor adjustments at the stomatal level. Our results highlight the potential of the target-use of light quality to induce structural and functional acclimations improving plant performance under stress situations.

  3. Spatio-Temporal Variation in Contrasting Effects of Resident Vegetation on Establishment, Growth and Reproduction of Dry Grassland Plants: Implications for Seed Addition Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Knappová, Jana; Knapp, Michal; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2013-01-01

    Successful establishment of plants is limited by both biotic and abiotic conditions and their interactions. Seedling establishment is also used as a direct measure of habitat suitability, but transient changes in vegetation might provide windows of opportunity allowing plant species to colonize sites which otherwise appear unsuitable. We aimed to study spatio-temporal variability in the effects of resident vegetation on establishment, growth and reproduction of dry grassland species in abandoned arable fields representing potentially suitable habitats. Seeds were sown in disturbed (bare of vegetation and roots) and undisturbed plots in three fields abandoned in the last 20 years. To assess the effects of temporal variation on plant establishment, we initiated our experiments in two years (2007 and 2008). Seventeen out of the 35 sown species flowered within two years after sowing, while three species completely failed to become established. The vegetation in the undisturbed plots facilitated seedling establishment only in the year with low spring precipitation, and the effect did not hold for all species. In contrast, growth and flowering rate were consistently much greater in the disturbed plots, but the effect size differed between the fields and years of sowing. We show that colonization is more successful when site opening by disturbance coincide with other suitable conditions such as weather or soil characteristics. Seasonal variability involved in our study emphasizes the necessity of temporal replication of sowing experiments. Studies assessing habitat suitability by seed sowing should either involve both vegetation removal treatments and untreated plots or follow the gradient of vegetation cover. We strongly recommend following the numbers of established individuals, their sizes and reproductive success when assessing habitat suitability by seed sowing since one can gain completely different results in different phases of plant life cycle. PMID:23755288

  4. Limited field establishment of a weed biocontrol agent, Floracarus perrepae (Acariformes: Eriophyidae), against Old World climbing fern in Florida - a possible role of mite resistant plant genotypes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Floracarus perrepae was released on Lygodium microphyllum in 63 plots at five sites in South Florida during 2008. Mite-induced leaf galls or feeding damage were observed on field plants in 34 of these plots. Leaf galls were observed in six plots, but in only two of these plots did mites establish pe...

  5. Temperature affects expression of symptoms induced by soybean mosaic virus in homozygous and heterozygous plants.

    PubMed

    Li, Dexiao; Chen, Pengyin; Shi, Ainong; Shakiba, Ehsan; Gergerich, Rose; Chen, Yaofeng

    2009-01-01

    Seven strains (G1 to G7) of soybean mosaic virus (SMV) and 3 resistance loci (Rsv1, Rsv3, and Rsv4) have been identified in soybean. The interaction of SMV strains and host resistance genes results in resistant (symptomless), susceptible (mosaic), or necrotic (leaf and stem necrosis) reactions. The necrotic reaction may be gene dosage dependent and influenced by temperature. Using a set of soybean isolines and hybrids containing homozygous or heterozygous alleles of rsv, Rsv1, Rsv1-n, Rsv3, or Rsv4, this study has explored the relationship of SMV-induced symptoms and resistance gene dosage at different temperatures. Results showed that SMV-inoculated plants carrying Rsv3 or Rsv4 were symptomless at both homozygous and heterozygous states at all temperature regimes. Threshold temperatures for symptoms changing from stem tip necrosis (STN) to mosaic were 30, 33, and 33 degrees C in G7-inoculated homozygous genotypes V94-3971(Rsv1) and PI 96983 (Rsv1) and G1-inoculated V262 (Rsv1-n), respectively. However, at the heterozygous state, threshold temperature was 30 degrees C in G7-inoculated V94-3971 x Essex F(1) for the symptom change from STN to mosaic, 31 degrees C in G7-inoculated Essex x PI 96983 F(1) from STN to mixture of necrosis and mosaic (N-M), and 32 degrees C in G1-inoculated V262 x Essex F(1) from N-M to mosaic. Incomplete necrosis was observed in the heterozygous state in G1-inoculated V262 x Essex F(1) and G7-inoculated PI 96983 x Essex F(1) where necrotic and mosaic symptoms were mixed. High temperature (37 degrees C) tends to mask the expression of mosaic symptoms in both homozygous and heterozygous plants. STN expression in response to temperature was affected by resistance gene, gene dosage, host genetic background, and specific SMV strains. Thus, Rsv3 and Rsv4 are a better choice as source of genetic resistance for breeding SMV-resistant cultivars.

  6. Seed germination of medicinal plant, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), as affected by different priming techniques.

    PubMed

    Tahaei, Amirreza; Soleymani, Ali; Shams, Majid

    2016-09-01

    Reduced seed germination is among the most important factors adversely affecting crop stand and subsequent plant growth. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an important medicinal plant with poor seed germination rate, occasionally. It is accordingly pertinent to find methods which can enhance fennel seed germination and remove the barriers of dormancy breaking. The present experiments studied the effects of two different priming (cold moist stratification and osmopriming) and 14 dormancy breaking techniques (hormonal, osmopriming, biopriming, chemical priming, and hydropriming) on the seed germination and seedling growth of two different fennel genotypes under growth chamber conditions. In the first and second experiment, the priming techniques including the time lengths of cold moist stratification (0, 15, 30, and 45 days) and the concentrations of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000, osmopriming at -0.99, -1.35, and -2.33 MPa) were used as the main plots. However, in both experiments, the dormancy breaking techniques and fennel genotypes were factorially combined and used as the subplots. Different seed- and seedling-related parameters including germination (%), plumule, radicle and seedling length, average germination time, rate and homogeneity of germination, and seed vigor index were determined. Both priming techniques were efficient on the enhancement of seed germination and seedling growth. Among the dormancy breaking techniques, Aminol Forte (biopriming), kadostim (biopriming), benzyl adenine + kinetin (biopriming), distilled water (hydropriming), gibberellin + kinetin (hormonal priming), and benzyl adenine + kinetin + gibberellin (biopriming) were the most effective ones. The related concentrations were equal to 100 mg/l, 10(-5) M, and 0.4 %. The fennel genotypes reacted significantly different under priming conditions. It is possible to enhance seed germination and seedling growth of fennel using priming and dormancy breaking

  7. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration affects interactions between Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae and two host plant species outdoors

    SciTech Connect

    Caulfield, F.; Bunce, J.A. )

    1994-08-01

    Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Huebner), larvae were placed on sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.) and pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.) plants in outdoor chambers in which the plants were growing at either the ambient ([approximately] 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) or ambient plus 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] ([approximately] 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) carbon dioxide concentration. A series of experiments was performed to determine if larvae reduced plant growth differently at the two carbon dioxide concentrations in either species and if the insect growth or survival differed with carbon dioxide concentration. Leaf nitrogen, water, starch, and soluble carbohydrate contents were measured to assess carbon dioxide concentration effects on leaf quality. Insect feeding significantly reduced plant growth in sugarbeet plants at 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] but not at 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] nor in pigweed at either carbon dioxide concentration. Larval survival was greater on sugarbeet plants at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration. Increased survival occurred only if the insects were at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration and consumed leaf material grown at the elevated concentration. Leaf quality was only marginally affected by growth at elevated carbon dioxide concentration in these experiments. The results indicate that in designing experiments to predict effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on plant-insect interactions, both plants and insects should be exposed to the experimental carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as to as realistic environmental conditions as possible.

  8. Jasmonic acid affects plant morphology and calcium-dependent protein kinase expression and activity in Solanum tuberosum.

    PubMed

    Ulloa, Rita M; Raíces, Marcela; MacIntosh, Gustavo C; Maldonado, Sara; Téllez-Iñón, María T

    2002-07-01

    The effect of jasmonic acid (JA) on plant growth and on calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) activity and expression was studied in non-photoperiodic potato plants, Solanum tuberosum L. var. Spunta, grown in vitro. Stem cuttings were grown for 45 days (long treatment, LT) in MS medium with increasing concentrations of JA. For short treatments (ST) adult plants grown in MS were transferred for 1, 4 and 20 h to JA containing media. During the LT, low concentrations of JA promoted cell expansion and shoot elongation while higher concentrations caused growth inhibition. Under these conditions, treated plants showed root shortening and tuber formation was not induced. Morphological and histochemical studies using light microscopy and TEM analysis of leaves from treated plants revealed that JA also affected subcellular organelles of mesophyll cells. Peroxisomes increased in size and number, and an autophagic process was triggered in response to high concentrations of the hormone. CDPK activity, determined in crude extracts of treated plants (LT), was inhibited (up to 80%). Plant growth and CDPK inhibition were reverted upon transfer of the plants to hormone-free medium. Soluble CDPK activity decreased in response to JA short treatment. Concomitantly, a decline in the steady state levels of StCDPK2 mRNA, a potato CDPK isoform that is expressed in leaves, was observed. These data suggest that the phytohormone down-regulated the expression and activity of the kinase.

  9. How grazing and soil quality affect native and exotic plant diversity in Rocky Mountain grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Schell, L.D.; Vanden, Heuvel B.

    1999-01-01

    (adjacent and distant 1000-m2 plots) in the same vegetation type overlapped just 48.6 ?? 3.6%, and the ungrazed plots and distant grazed plots overlapped 49.4 ?? 3.6%. Differences in vegetation and soils between grazed and ungrazed sites were minimal in most cases, but soil characteristics and elevation were strongly correlated with native and exotic plant diversity in the study region. For the 78 1000-m2 plots, 59.4% of the variance in total species richness was explained by percentage of silt (coefficient = 0.647, t = 5.107, P < 0.001), elevation (coefficient = 0.012, t = 5.084, P < 0.001), and total foliar cover (coefficient = 0.110, t = 2.104, P < 0.039). Only 12.8% of the variance in exotic species cover (log10cover) was explained by percentage of clay (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.878, P < 0.005), native species richness (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.156, P < 0.034), and log10N (coefficient = 2.827, t = 1.860, P < 0.067). Native species cover and exotic species richness and frequency were also significantly positively correlated with percentage of soil N at the 1000-m2 plot scale. Our research led to five broad generalizations about current levels of grazing in these Rocky Mountain grasslands: (1) grazing probably has little effect on native species richness at landscape scales; (2) grazing probably has little effect on the accelerated spread of most exotic plant species at landscape scales; (3) grazing affects local plant species and life-form composition and cover, but spatial variation is considerable; (4) soil characteristics, climate, and disturbances may have a greater effect on plant species diversity than do current levels of grazing; and (5) few plant species show consistent, directional responses to grazing or cessation of grazing.

  10. The impact of global warming on floral traits that affect the selfing rate in a high-altitude plant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Changes in the abiotic environment, as those expected under global warming, can influence plant mating systems through changes in floral traits that affect selfing. Herkogamy (spatial separation of male and female functions within a flower), dichogamy (temporal separation) and total flower number af...

  11. Host plant phenology affects performance of an invasive weevil, Phyllobius oblongus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in a northern hardwood forest.

    PubMed

    Coyle, David R; Jordan, Michelle S; Raffa, Kenneth F

    2010-10-01

    We investigated how host plant phenology and plant species affected longevity, reproduction, and feeding behavior of an invasive weevil. Phyllobius oblongus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is common in northern hardwood forests of the Great Lakes Region. Adults emerge in spring, feed on foliage of woody understory plants, and oviposit in the soil. Preliminary data indicate that adults often feed on sugar maple, Acer saccharum Marshall, foliage early in the season, then feed on other species such as raspberry, Rubus spp. Whether this behavior reflects temporal changes in the quality of A. saccharum tissue or merely subsequent availability of later-season plants is unknown. We tested adult P. oblongus in laboratory assays using young (newly flushed) sugar maple foliage, old (2-3 wk postflush) sugar maple foliage, and raspberry foliage. Raspberry has indeterminate growth, thus always has young foliage available for herbivores. Survival, oviposition, and leaf consumption were recorded. In performance assays under no-choice conditions, mated pairs were provided one type of host foliage for the duration of their lives. In behavioral choice tests, all three host plants were provided simultaneously and leaf area consumption was compared. Adults survived longer on and consumed greater amounts of young maple and raspberry foliage than old maple foliage. P. oblongus preferred young maple foliage to old maple foliage early in the season, however, later in the growing season weevils showed less pronounced feeding preferences. These results suggest how leaf phenology, plant species composition, and feeding plasticity in host utilization may interact to affect P. oblongus population dynamics.

  12. Barium uptake by maize plants as affected by sewage sludge in a long-term field study.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Thiago Assis Rodrigues; deMelo, Wanderley José; Fonseca, Ivana Machado; Marques, Marcos Omir; He, Zhenli

    2010-09-15

    A long-term experiment was carried out under field conditions in Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil, with the objective of evaluating the concentration of Ba in soil and in maize plants grown in a soil treated with sewage sludge for nine consecutive years. During 2005/2006, maize was used as test plants and the experimental design was in randomized complete blocks with four treatments and five replicates. Treatments consisted of: 0.0, 45.0, 90.0 and 127.5 t ha(-1) sewage sludge (dry basis). Sewage sludge application increased soil Ba concentration. Barium accumulated in the parts of maize plants were generally affected by the successive applications of sewage sludge to the soil. However, the concentration of Ba in maize grain did not exceed the critical levels of Ba for human consumption. Sewage sludge applied to soil for a long time did not affect dry matter and grain production, nevertheless had the similar effect of mineral fertilization.

  13. Fire and drought affect plant communities and the greenhouse gas balance in a Mediterranean shrubland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, José M.; Parra, Antonio; Dannenmann, Michael; Ramírez, David A.; Diaz-Pines, Eugenio; Tejedor, Javier; Kitzler, Barbara; Karhu, Kristina; Resco, Victor; Povoas, Luciano

    2010-05-01

    Predicted changes in the seasonality and amount of rainfall under a changing climate have the potential to dramatically alter ecosystem function and species composition. Moreover, in fire-prone ecosystems, the joint effects of fire and increasing aridity may create irreversible changes to the services these ecosystems provide. To understand the effects of increasing drought and fire in a Mediterranean shrubland, we implemented an automated rainfall manipulation system, with rain-out shelters which automatically fold and unfold when conditions are rainy and dry, respectively. In January 2009, we implemented five different treatments, where annual precipitation was reduced by diminishing summer rainfall from the long-term historical average, up to a 40% reduction, following IPCC scenarios. In September 2009, we uninstalled all the shelters to burn the different plots, and reinstalled the shelters immediately afterwards. In this talk, we will present the preliminary results of an integrated experiment which aims at understanding the concomitant effects of fire and different drought intensities on the species composition and greenhouse gas balance (CO2, N2O and CH4) of a Mediterranean shrubland. We observed that plant growth was more severely affected by drought in the more shallow-rooted, malacophyllous shrub (from 116 to -7.2 mg/g/d in Cistus ladanifer), than in a deeper-rooted heather (from 5.5 to 66.9 mg/g/day in Erica arborea). This growth response was mediated by species-specific differences in hydraulics, leaf morphology and photosynthetic gas exchange of each species. Analyses of changes in species composition after fire are currently undergoing. The precipitation reduction treatments exerted drought stress on CH4 oxidizing microorganisms and thus reduced the CH4 sink strength of the ecosystem during the pre-fire period. Furthermore, the net CH4 uptake at the soil-atmosphere interface was reduced by the fire for a period of at least one month. Pedosphere

  14. Plant Products Affect Growth and Digestive Efficiency of Cultured Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) Fed Compounded Diets

    PubMed Central

    Lech, Gregory P.; Reigh, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Costs of compounded diets containing fish meal as a primary protein source can be expected to rise as fish meal prices increase in response to static supply and growing demand. Alternatives to fish meal are needed to reduce production costs in many aquaculture enterprises. Some plant proteins are potential replacements for fish meal because of their amino acid composition, lower cost and wide availability. In this study, we measured utilization of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) by Florida pompano fed compounded diets, to determine the efficacy of these products as fish meal replacements. We also calculated apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for canola meal (CM), corn gluten meal (CGM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), following typical methods for digestibility trials. Juvenile Florida pompano were fed fish-meal-free diets containing graded levels of SBM and SPC, and weight gain was compared to a control diet that contained SBM, SPC, and fish meal. Fish fed diets that contained 25–30 percent SBM in combination with 43–39 percent SPC had weight gain equivalent to fish fed the control diet with fish meal, while weight gain of fish fed other soy combinations was significantly less than that of the control group. Apparent crude protein digestibility of CGM was significantly higher than that of DDGS but not significantly different from CM. Apparent energy digestibility of DDGS was significantly lower than CGM but significantly higher than CM. Findings suggested that composition of the reference diet used in a digestibility trial affects the values of calculated ADCs, in addition to the chemical and physical attributes of the test ingredient. PMID:22536344

  15. The non-psychoactive plant cannabinoid, cannabidiol affects cholesterol metabolism-related genes in microglial cells.

    PubMed

    Rimmerman, Neta; Juknat, Ana; Kozela, Ewa; Levy, Rivka; Bradshaw, Heather B; Vogel, Zvi

    2011-08-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive plant cannabinoid that is clinically used in a 1:1 mixture with the psychoactive cannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the treatment of neuropathic pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis. Our group previously reported that CBD exerts anti-inflammatory effects on microglial cells. In addition, we found that CBD treatment increases the accumulation of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (AEA), thus enhancing endocannabinoid signaling. Here we proceeded to investigate the effects of CBD on the modulation of lipid-related genes in microglial cells. Cell viability was tested using FACS analysis, AEA levels were measured using LC/MS/MS, gene array analysis was validated with real-time qPCR, and cytokine release was measured using ELISA. We report that CBD significantly upregulated the mRNAs of the enzymes sterol-O-acyl transferase (Soat2), which synthesizes cholesteryl esters, and of sterol 27-hydroxylase (Cyp27a1). In addition, CBD increased the mRNA of the lipid droplet-associated protein, perilipin2 (Plin2). Moreover, we found that pretreatment of the cells with the cholesterol chelating agent, methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MBCD), reversed the CBD-induced increase in Soat2 mRNA but not in Plin2 mRNA. Incubation with AEA increased the level of Plin2, but not of Soat2 mRNA. Furthermore, MBCD treatment did not affect the reduction by CBD of the LPS-induced release of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β. CBD treatment modulates cholesterol homeostasis in microglial cells, and pretreatment with MBCD reverses this effect without interfering with CBD's anti-inflammatory effects. The effects of the CBD-induced increase in AEA accumulation on lipid-gene expression are discussed.

  16. Plant products affect growth and digestive efficiency of cultured Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) fed compounded diets.

    PubMed

    Lech, Gregory P; Reigh, Robert C

    2012-01-01

    Costs of compounded diets containing fish meal as a primary protein source can be expected to rise as fish meal prices increase in response to static supply and growing demand. Alternatives to fish meal are needed to reduce production costs in many aquaculture enterprises. Some plant proteins are potential replacements for fish meal because of their amino acid composition, lower cost and wide availability. In this study, we measured utilization of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) by Florida pompano fed compounded diets, to determine the efficacy of these products as fish meal replacements. We also calculated apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for canola meal (CM), corn gluten meal (CGM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), following typical methods for digestibility trials. Juvenile Florida pompano were fed fish-meal-free diets containing graded levels of SBM and SPC, and weight gain was compared to a control diet that contained SBM, SPC, and fish meal. Fish fed diets that contained 25-30 percent SBM in combination with 43-39 percent SPC had weight gain equivalent to fish fed the control diet with fish meal, while weight gain of fish fed other soy combinations was significantly less than that of the control group. Apparent crude protein digestibility of CGM was significantly higher than that of DDGS but not significantly different from CM. Apparent energy digestibility of DDGS was significantly lower than CGM but significantly higher than CM. Findings suggested that composition of the reference diet used in a digestibility trial affects the values of calculated ADCs, in addition to the chemical and physical attributes of the test ingredient.

  17. Inhibition of lipoxygenase affects induction of both direct and indirect plant defences against herbivorous insects.

    PubMed

    Bruinsma, Maaike; van Broekhoven, Sarah; Poelman, Erik H; Posthumus, Maarten A; Müller, Martin J; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel

    2010-02-01

    Herbivore-induced plant defences influence the behaviour of insects associated with the plant. For biting-chewing herbivores the octadecanoid signal-transduction pathway has been suggested to play a key role in induced plant defence. To test this hypothesis in our plant-herbivore-parasitoid tritrophic system, we used phenidone, an inhibitor of the enzyme lipoxygenase (LOX), that catalyses the initial step in the octadecanoid pathway. Phenidone treatment of Brussels sprouts plants reduced the accumulation of internal signalling compounds in the octadecanoid pathway downstream of the step catalysed by LOX, i.e. 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) and jasmonic acid. The attraction of Cotesia glomerata parasitoids to host-infested plants was significantly reduced by phenidone treatment. The three herbivores investigated, i.e. the specialists Plutella xylostella, Pieris brassicae and Pieris rapae, showed different oviposition preferences for intact and infested plants, and for two species their preference for either intact or infested plants was shown to be LOX dependent. Our results show that phenidone inhibits the LOX-dependent defence response of the plant and that this inhibition can influence the behaviour of members of the associated insect community.

  18. Conventional and organic soil fertility management practices affect corn plant nutrition and Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larval performance.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Ebony G; Cullen, Eileen M

    2014-10-01

    Few studies compare how different soil fertilization practices affect plant mineral content and insect performance in organic systems. This study examined: 1) The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), larval response on corn (Zea mays L.) grown in field soils with different soil management histories; and 2) resilience of these plants to O. nubilalis herbivory. Treatments included: 1) standard organic--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and 2 yr of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the rotation; 2) basic cation saturation ratio--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and alfalfa nitrogen credits, plus addition of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) according to the soil balance hypothesis; and 3) conventional--conventionally managed soil fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Corn plants were reared to maturity in a greenhouse, and then infested with 0-40 O. nubilalis larvae for 17 d. O. nubilalis exhibited negative competitive response to increasing larval densities. Mean development time was significantly faster for larvae consuming basic cation saturation ratio plants than those on standard organic plants, with intermediate development time on conventional plants. Neither total yield (number of kernels) nor proportion kernels damaged differed among soil fertility treatments. Soil nutrients differed significantly in S and in Ca:Mg and Ca:K ratios, but principal components analysis of plant tissue samples taken before O. nubilalis infestation showed that S, Fe, and Cu contributed most to differences in plant nutrient profiles among soil fertility treatments. Results demonstrate that different fertilization regimens can significantly affect insect performance within the context of organic systems, but the effects in this study were relatively minor compared with effects of intraspecific competition.

  19. Retention of OsNMD3 in the cytoplasm disturbs protein synthesis efficiency and affects plant development in rice.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yanyun; Liu, Xiangling; Li, Rui; Gao, Yaping; Xu, Zuopeng; Zhang, Baocai; Zhou, Yihua

    2014-07-01

    The ribosome is the basic machinery for translation, and biogenesis of ribosomes involves many coordinated events. However, knowledge about ribosomal dynamics in higher plants is very limited. This study chose a highly conserved trans-factor, the 60S ribosomal subunit nuclear export adaptor NMD3, to characterize the mechanism of ribosome biogenesis in the monocot plant Oryza sativa (rice). O. sativa NMD3 (OsNMD3) shares all the common motifs and shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm via CRM1/XPO1. A dominant negative form of OsNMD3 with a truncated nuclear localization sequence (OsNMD3(ΔNLS)) was retained in the cytoplasm, consequently interfering with the release of OsNMD3 from pre-60S particles and disturbing the assembly of ribosome subunits. Analyses of the transactivation activity and cellulose biosynthesis level revealed low protein synthesis efficiency in the transgenic plants compared with the wild-type plants. Pharmaceutical treatments demonstrated structural alterations in ribosomes in the transgenic plants. Moreover, global expression profiles of the wild-type and transgenic plants were investigated using the Illumina RNA sequencing approach. These expression profiles suggested that overexpression of OsNMD3(ΔNLS) affected ribosome biogenesis and certain basic pathways, leading to pleiotropic abnormalities in plant growth. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that OsNMD3 is important for ribosome assembly and the maintenance of normal protein synthesis efficiency.

  20. Factors affecting establishment and recovery of Sasajiscymnus tsugae (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), an introduced predator of hemlock woolly adelgid (Hemiptera: Adelgidae) on eastern hemlock (Pinales: Pinaceae).

    PubMed

    Hakeem, A; Grant, J F; Wiggins, G J; Lambdin, P L; Hale, F A; Buckley, D S; Rhea, J R; Parkman, J P; Taylor, G

    2013-12-01

    To reduce populations of hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae Annand (Hemiptera: Adelgidae), >500,000 Sasajiscymnus tsugae (Sasaji and McClure) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) have been released in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since 2002. To determine factors affecting establishment and recovery of these predatory beetles, 65 single release sites were sampled using beat sheets from 2008 to 2012. Several abiotic and biotic factors were evaluated for their association with establishment and recovery of S. tsugae. Information on predatory beetle releases (location, year of release, number released, and season of release), topographic features (elevation, slope, Beers transformed aspect, and topographic relative moisture index), and temperature data (minimum and maximum temperatures 1 d after release and average minimum and maximum temperatures 7 d after release) were obtained from Great Smoky Mountains National Park personnel. These factors were evaluated using stepwise logistic regression and Pearson correlation. S. tsugae was recovered from 13 sites 2 to 10 yr after release, and the greatest number was recovered from 2002 release sites. Regression indicated establishment and recovery was negatively associated with year of release and positively associated with the average maximum temperature 7 d after release and elevation (generally, recovery increased as temperatures increased). Several significant correlations were found between presence and number of S. tsugae and year of release, season of release, and temperature variables. These results indicate that releases of S. tsugae should be made in warmer (≍10-25°C) temperatures and monitored for at least 5 yr after releases to enhance establishment and recovery efforts.

  1. Establishment of Azotobacter on plant roots: chemotactic response, development and analysis of root exudates of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rakesh; Bhatia, Ranjana; Kukreja, K; Behl, Rishi Kumar; Dudeja, Surjit Singh; Narula, Neeru

    2007-10-01

    Biofertilizers contribute in N(2) fixation, P solubilization, phytohormone production and thus enhance plant growth. Beneficial plant-microbe interactions and the stability and effectiveness of biofertilizer depend upon the establishment of bacterial strains in the rhizosphere of the plant. This interaction depends upon many factors, one of them being plant exudates. Root exudates are composed of small organic molecules like carbonic acids, amino acids or sugars etc., which are released into the soil and bacteria can be attracted towards these exudates due to chemotaxis. The chemotactic behaviour of Azotobacter strains was studied using cotton (Desi HD 123 and American H 1098) and wheat (WH 711) seedlings and the root exudates of these two plants were chemically characterized. Analysis of the root exudates revealed the presence of sugars and simple polysaccharides (glucose), amino acids (glutamate, lysine) and organic acids (citric acid, succinic acid, maleic acid, malonic acid). Differences between cotton cultivars in root exudates were observed which influenced chemotactic response in Azotobacter. These results indicate colonization with rhizobacteria which implies that optimal symbionts, on the sides of both plant cultivar and bioinoculant bacteria can lead to better plant growth under cultivation conditions.

  2. Decoupling factors affecting plant diversity and cover on extensive green roofs.

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Margolis, Liat; Puncher, Curtis L; Carver Matthews, Benjamin J

    2013-11-30

    Supplemental irrigation systems are often specified on green roofs to ensure plant cover and growth, both important components of green roof performance and aesthetics. Properties of the growing media environment too can alter the assemblage of plant species able to thrive. In this study we determine how plant cover, above ground biomass and species diversity are influenced by irrigation and growing media. Grass and forb vegetative cover and biomass were significantly greater in organic based growing media but there was no effect of supplemental irrigation, with two warm season grasses dominating in those treatments receiving no supplemental irrigation. On the other hand, plant diversity declined without irrigation in organic media, and having no irrigation in inorganic growing media resulted in almost a complete loss of cover. Sedum biomass was less in inorganic growing media treatments and species dominance shifted when growing media organic content increased. Our results demonstrate that supplemental irrigation is required to maintain plant diversity on an extensive green roof, but not necessarily plant cover or biomass. These results provide evidence that planting extensive green roofs with a mix of plant species can ensure the survival of some species; maintaining cover and biomass when supplemental irrigation is turned off to conserve water, or during extreme drought.

  3. How Will Global Environmental Changes Affect the Growth of Alien Plants?

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Jujie; Dai, Zhicong; Li, Feng; Liu, Yanjie

    2016-01-01

    Global environmental changes can create novel habitats, promoting the growth of alien plants that often exhibit broad environmental tolerance and high phenotypic plasticity. However, the mechanisms underlying these growth promotory effects are unknown at present. Here, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis using data from 111 published studies encompassing the responses of 129 alien plants to global warming, increased precipitation, N deposition, and CO2 enrichment. We compared the differences in the responses of alien plants to the four global environmental change factors across six categories of functional traits between woody and non-woody life forms as well as C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways. Our results showed that all four global change factors promote alien plant growth. Warming had a more positive effect on C4 than C3 plants. Although the effects of the four factors on the functional traits of alien plants were variable, plant growth was mainly promoted via an increase in growth rate and size. Our data suggest that potential future global environmental changes could further facilitate alien plant growth. PMID:27847511

  4. How Will Global Environmental Changes Affect the Growth of Alien Plants?

    PubMed

    Jia, Jujie; Dai, Zhicong; Li, Feng; Liu, Yanjie

    2016-01-01

    Global environmental changes can create novel habitats, promoting the growth of alien plants that often exhibit broad environmental tolerance and high phenotypic plasticity. However, the mechanisms underlying these growth promotory effects are unknown at present. Here, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis using data from 111 published studies encompassing the responses of 129 alien plants to global warming, increased precipitation, N deposition, and CO2 enrichment. We compared the differences in the responses of alien plants to the four global environmental change factors across six categories of functional traits between woody and non-woody life forms as well as C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways. Our results showed that all four global change factors promote alien plant growth. Warming had a more positive effect on C4 than C3 plants. Although the effects of the four factors on the functional traits of alien plants were variable, plant growth was mainly promoted via an increase in growth rate and size. Our data suggest that potential future global environmental changes could further facilitate alien plant growth.

  5. Salt tolerance and stress level affect plant biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zhenxing; Chen, Wenwen; Zhang, Qian; Yang, Haishui; Tang, Jianjun; Weiner, Jacob; Chen, Xin

    2014-07-01

    It has been shown that plant biomass-density relationships are altered under extreme or stressed conditions. We do not know whether variation in biomass-density relationships is a direct result of stress tolerance or occurs via changes in plant-plant interactions. Here, we evaluated biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects in six plant species that differ in salt tolerance in a salt marsh, and conducted a literature review of biomass-density relationship under higher and lower stress levels. Our field study showed that both neighbor effects and the exponent of the biomass-density relationship (α) varied among plant species with different degrees of salt tolerance. There was a positive relationship between neighbor effects (measured as relative interaction index) and α-value among the tested species. The literature review showed that α and its variation increased under higher stress. Our results indicate that plant species with different salinity tolerance differ in the direction and strength of neighbor effects, resulting in variation in biomass-density relationships. Our results support the hypothesis that differences in biomass-density relationships among species are not due to differences in stress tolerance alone, they are mediated by changes in plant-plant interactions.

  6. Environmental Growth Conditions of Trichoderma spp. Affects Indole Acetic Acid Derivatives, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Plant Growth Promotion.

    PubMed

    Nieto-Jacobo, Maria F; Steyaert, Johanna M; Salazar-Badillo, Fatima B; Nguyen, Dianne Vi; Rostás, Michael; Braithwaite, Mark; De Souza, Jorge T; Jimenez-Bremont, Juan F; Ohkura, Mana; Stewart, Alison; Mendoza-Mendoza, Artemio

    2017-01-01

    Trichoderma species are soil-borne filamentous fungi widely utilized for their many plant health benefits, such as conferring improved growth, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance to their hosts. Many Trichoderma species are able to produce the auxin phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and its production has been suggested to promote root growth. Here we show that the production of IAA is strain dependent and diverse external stimuli are associated with its production. In in vitro assays, Arabidopsis primary root length was negatively affected by the interaction with some Trichoderma strains. In soil experiments, a continuum effect on plant growth was shown and this was also strain dependent. In plate assays, some strains of Trichoderma spp. inhibited the expression of the auxin reporter gene DR5 in Arabidopsis primary roots but not secondary roots. When Trichoderma spp. and A. thaliana were physically separated, enhancement of both shoot and root biomass, increased root production and chlorophyll content were observed, which strongly suggested that volatile production by the fungus influenced the parameters analyzed. Trichoderma strains T. virens Gv29.8, T. atroviride IMI206040, T. sp. "atroviride B" LU132, and T. asperellum LU1370 were demonstrated to promote plant growth through volatile production. However, contrasting differences were observed with LU1370 which had a negative effect on plant growth in soil but a positive effect in plate assays. Altogether our results suggest that the mechanisms and molecules involved in plant growth promotion by Trichoderma spp. are multivariable and are affected by the environmental conditions.

  7. Plant water relations as affected by heavy metal stress: A review

    SciTech Connect

    Barcelo, J.; Poschenrieder, C. )

    1990-01-01

    Metal toxicity causes multiple direct and indirect effects in plants which concern practically all physiological functions. In this review the effects of excess heavy metals and aluminum on those functions which will alter plant water relations are considered. After a brief comment on the metal effects in cell walls and plasma-lemma, and their consequences for cell expansion growth, the influences of high meal availability on the factors which regulate water entry and water exit in plants are considered. Emphasis is placed on the importance of distinguishing between low water availability in mine and serpentine soils and toxicity effects in plants which may impair the ability of a plant to regulate water uptake. Examples on water relations of both plants grown on metalliferous soil and hydroponics are presented, and the effects of metal toxicity on root growth, water transport and transpiration are considered. It is concluded that future research has to focus on the mechanisms of metal-induced inhibition of both root elongation and morphogenetic processes within roots. In order to understand the relation between metal tolerance and drought resistance better, further studies into metal tolerance mechanisms at the cell wall, membrane and vacuolar level, as well as into the mechanisms of drought resistance of plants adapted to metalliferous soils are required. 135 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  8. Volatiles produced by soil-borne endophytic bacteria increase plant pathogen resistance and affect tritrophic interactions.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Marco; Erb, Matthias; Ton, Jurriaan; Brandenburg, Anna; Karlen, Danielle; Zopfi, Jakob; Turlings, Ted C J

    2014-04-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by soil microorganisms influence plant growth and pathogen resistance. Yet, very little is known about their influence on herbivores and higher trophic levels. We studied the origin and role of a major bacterial VOC, 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), on plant growth, pathogen and herbivore resistance, and the attraction of natural enemies in maize. One of the major contributors to 2,3-BD in the headspace of soil-grown maize seedlings was identified as Enterobacter aerogenes, an endophytic bacterium that colonizes the plants. The production of 2,3-BD by E. aerogenes rendered maize plants more resistant against the Northern corn leaf blight fungus Setosphaeria turcica. On the contrary, E. aerogenes-inoculated plants were less resistant against the caterpillar Spodoptera littoralis. The effect of 2,3-BD on the attraction of the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris was more variable: 2,3-BD application to the headspace of the plants had no effect on the parasitoids, but application to the soil increased parasitoid attraction. Furthermore, inoculation of seeds with E. aerogenes decreased plant attractiveness, whereas inoculation of soil with a total extract of soil microbes increased parasitoid attraction, suggesting that the effect of 2,3-BD on the parasitoid is indirect and depends on the composition of the microbial community.

  9. The glabra1 mutation affects cuticle formation and plant responses to microbes.

    PubMed

    Xia, Ye; Yu, Keshun; Navarre, Duroy; Seebold, Kenneth; Kachroo, Aardra; Kachroo, Pradeep

    2010-10-01

    Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a form of defense that provides resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens in plants. Previous work indicates a role for plastidial glycerolipid biosynthesis in SAR. Specifically, mutations in FATTY ACID DESATURASE7 (FAD7), which lead to reduced trienoic fatty acid levels and compromised plastidial lipid biosynthesis, have been associated with defective SAR. We show that the defective SAR in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) fad7-1 plants is not associated with a mutation in FAD7 but rather with a second-site mutation in GLABRA1 (GL1), a gene well known for its role in trichome formation. The compromised SAR in gl1 plants is associated with impairment in their cuticles. Furthermore, mutations in two other components of trichome development, GL3 and TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1, also impaired cuticle development and SAR. This suggests an overlap in the biochemical pathways leading to cuticle and trichome development. Interestingly, exogenous application of gibberellic acid (GA) not only enhanced SAR in wild-type plants but also restored SAR in gl1 plants. In contrast to GA, the defense phytohoromes salicylic acid and jasmonic acid were unable to restore SAR in gl1 plants. GA application increased levels of cuticular components but not trichome formation on gl1 plants, thus implicating cuticle, but not trichomes, as an important component of SAR. Our findings question the prudence of using mutant backgrounds for genetic screens and underscore a need to reevaluate phenotypes previously studied in the gl1 background.

  10. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  11. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C; Bronstein, Judith L

    2014-09-01

    Mutualism is an often complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and, in exchange, protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40 °C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0 °C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species.

  12. Plant Trait Assembly Affects Superiority of Grazer's Foraging Strategies in Species-Rich Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Mládek, Jan; Mládková, Pavla; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Dvorský, Miroslav; Pavlu, Vilém; De Bello, Francesco; Duchoslav, Martin; Hejcman, Michal; Pakeman, Robin J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Current plant – herbivore interaction models and experiments with mammalian herbivores grazing plant monocultures show the superiority of a maximizing forage quality strategy (MFQ) over a maximizing intake strategy (MI). However, there is a lack of evidence whether grazers comply with the model predictions under field conditions. Methodology/Findings We assessed diet selection of sheep (Ovis aries) using plant functional traits in productive mesic vs. low-productivity dry species-rich grasslands dominated by resource-exploitative vs. resource-conservative species respectively. Each grassland type was studied in two replicates for two years. We investigated the first grazing cycle in a set of 288 plots with a diameter of 30 cm, i.e. the size of sheep feeding station. In mesic grasslands, high plot defoliation was associated with community weighted means of leaf traits referring to high forage quality, i.e. low leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and high specific leaf area (SLA), with a high proportion of legumes and the most with high community weighted mean of forage indicator value. In contrast in dry grasslands, high community weighted mean of canopy height, an estimate of forage quantity, was the best predictor of plot defoliation. Similar differences in selection on forage quality vs. quantity were detected within plots. Sheep selected plants with higher forage indicator values than the plot specific community weighted mean of forage indicator value in mesic grasslands whereas taller plants were selected in dry grasslands. However, at this scale sheep avoided legumes and plants with higher SLA, preferred plants with higher LDMC while grazing plants with higher forage indicator values in mesic grasslands. Conclusions Our findings indicate that MFQ appears superior over MI only in habitats with a predominance of resource-exploitative species. Furthermore, plant functional traits (LDMC, SLA, nitrogen fixer) seem to be helpful correlates of forage quality

  13. Water Deficit and Heat Affect the Tolerance to High Illumination in Hibiscus Plants

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Romualdo; Quiles, María José

    2013-01-01

    This work studies the effects of water deficit and heat, as well as the involvement of chlororespiration and the ferredoxin-mediated cyclic pathway, on the tolerance of photosynthesis to high light intensity in Hibiscus rosa-sinensis plants. Drought and heat resulted in the down–regulation of photosynthetic linear electron transport in the leaves, although only a slight decrease in variable fluorescence (Fv)/maximal fluorescence (Fm) was observed, indicating that the chloroplast was protected by mechanisms that dissipate excess excitation energy to prevent damage to the photosynthetic apparatus. The incubation of leaves from unstressed plants under high light intensity resulted in an increase of the activity of electron donation by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and ferredoxin to plastoquinone, but no increase was observed in plants exposed to water deficit, suggesting that cyclic electron transport was stimulated by high light only in control plants. In contrast, the activities of the chlororespiration enzymes (NADH dehydrogenase (NDH) complex and plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX)) increased after incubation under high light intensity in leaves of the water deficit plants, but not in control plants, suggesting that chlororespiration was stimulated in stressed plants. The results indicate that the relative importance of chlororespiration and the cyclic electron pathway in the tolerance of photosynthesis to high illumination differs under stress conditions. When plants were not subjected to stress, the contribution of chlororespiration to photosynthetic electron flow regulation was not relevant, and another pathway, such as the ferredoxin-mediated cyclic pathway, was more important. However, when plants were subjected to water deficit and heat, chlororespiration was probably essential. PMID:23470922

  14. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C.; Bronstein, Judith L.

    2014-01-01

    Mutualism is an often-complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and in exchange protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40°C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0°C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species. PMID:25012597

  15. Drought induced changes of plant belowground carbon allocation affect soil microbial community function in a subalpine meadow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchslueger, L.; Bahn, M.; Fritz, K.; Hasibeder, R.; Richter, A.

    2012-12-01

    There is growing evidence that climate extremes may affect ecosystem carbon dynamics more strongly than gradual changes in temperatures or precipitation. Climate projections suggest more frequent heat waves accompanied by extreme drought periods in many parts of Europe, including the Alps. Drought is considered to decrease plant C uptake and turnover, which may in turn decrease belowground C allocation and potentially has significant consequences for microbial community composition and functioning. However, information on effects of drought on C dynamics at the plant-soil interface in real ecosystems is still scarce. Our study aimed at understanding how summer drought affects soil microbial community composition and the uptake of recently assimilated plant C by different microbial groups in grassland. We hypothesized that under drought 1) the microbial community shifts, fungi being less affected than bacteria, 2) plants decrease belowground C allocation, which further reduces C transfer to soil microbes and 3) the combined effects of belowground C allocation, reduced soil C transport due to reduced soil moisture and shift in microbial communities cause an accumulation of extractable organic C in the soil. Our study was conducted as part of a rain-exclusion experiment in a subalpine meadow in the Austrian Central Alps. After eight weeks of rain exclusion we pulse labelled drought and control plots with 13CO2 and traced C in plant biomass, extractable organic C (EOC) and soil microbial communities using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Drought induced a shift of the microbial community composition: gram-positive bacteria became more dominant, whereas gram-negative bacteria were not affected by drought. Also the relative abundance of fungal biomass was not affected by drought. While total microbial biomass (as estimated by total microbial PLFA content) increased during drought, less 13C was taken up. This reduction was pronounced for bacterial biomarkers. It reflects

  16. Establishment of non-native plant species after wildfires: Effects of fuel treatments, abiotic and biotic factors, and post-fire grass seeding treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, M.E.; Omi, Philip N.; Martinson, E.J.; Chong, G.W.

    2006-01-01

    Establishment and spread of non-native species following wildfires can pose threats to long-term native plant recovery. Factors such as disturbance severity, resource availability, and propagule pressure may influence where non-native species establish in burned areas. In addition, pre- and post-fire management activities may influence the likelihood of non-native species establishment. In the present study we examine the establishment of non-native species after wildfires in relation to native species richness, fire severity, dominant native plant cover, resource availability, and pre- and post-fire management actions (fuel treatments and post-fire rehabilitation treatments). We used an information-theoretic approach to compare alternative hypotheses. We analysed post-fire effects at multiple scales at three wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico. For large and small spatial scales at all fires, fire severity was the most consistent predictor of non-native species cover. Non-native species cover was also correlated with high native species richness, low native dominant species cover, and high seeded grass cover. There was a positive, but non-significant, association of non-native species with fuel-treated areas at one wildfire. While there may be some potential for fuels treatments to promote non-native species establishment, wildfire and post-fire seeding treatments seem to have a larger impact on non-native species. ?? IAWF 2006.

  17. Agrobacterium rhizogenes rolB gene affects photosynthesis and chlorophyll content in transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants.

    PubMed

    Bettini, Priscilla P; Marvasi, Massimiliano; Fani, Fabiola; Lazzara, Luigi; Cosi, Elena; Melani, Lorenzo; Mauro, Maria Luisa

    2016-10-01

    Insertion of Agrobacterium rhizogenes rolB gene into plant genome affects plant development, hormone balance and defence. However, beside the current research, the overall transcriptional response and gene expression of rolB as a modulator in plant is unknown. Transformed rolB tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cultivar Tondino has been used to investigate the differential expression profile. Tomato is a well-known model organism both at the genetic and molecular level, and one of the most important commercial food crops in the world. Through the construction and characterization of a cDNA subtracted library, we have investigated the differential gene expression between transgenic clones of rolB and control tomato and have evaluated genes specifically transcribed in transgenic rolB plants. Among the selected genes, five genes encoding for chlorophyll a/b binding protein, carbonic anhydrase, cytochrome b6/f complex Fe-S subunit, potassium efflux antiporter 3, and chloroplast small heat-shock protein, all involved in chloroplast function, were identified. Measurement of photosynthesis efficiency by the level of three different photosynthetic parameters (Fv/Fm, rETR, NPQ) showed rolB significant increase in non-photochemical quenching and a, b chlorophyll content. Our results point to highlight the role of rolB on plant fitness by improving photosynthesis.

  18. Development on drought-stressed host plants affects life history, flight morphology and reproductive output relative to landscape structure.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Melanie; Van Dyck, Hans; Breuker, Casper J

    2012-01-01

    With global climate change, rainfall is becoming more variable. Predicting the responses of species to changing rainfall levels is difficult because, for example in herbivorous species, these effects may be mediated indirectly through changes in host plant quality. Furthermore, species responses may result from a simultaneous interaction between rainfall levels and other environmental variables such as anthropogenic land use or habitat quality. In this eco-evolutionary study, we examined how male and female Pararge aegeria (L.) from woodland and agricultural landscape populations were affected by the development on drought-stressed host plants. Compared with individuals from woodland landscapes, when reared on drought-stressed plants agricultural individuals had longer development times, reduced survival rates and lower adult body masses. Across both landscape types, growth on drought-stressed plants resulted in males and females with low forewing aspect ratios and in females with lower wing loading and reduced fecundity. Development on drought-stressed plants also had a landscape-specific effect on reproductive output; agricultural females laid eggs that had a significantly lower hatching success. Overall, our results highlight several potential mechanisms by which low water availability, via changes in host plant quality, may differentially influence P. aegeria populations relative to landscape structure.

  19. Factors affecting the isotopic composition of organic matter. (1) Carbon isotopic composition of terrestrial plant materials.

    PubMed

    Yeh, H W; Wang, W M

    2001-07-01

    The stable isotope composition of the light elements (i.e., H, C, N, O and S) of organic samples varies significantly and, for C, is also unique and distinct from that of inorganic carbon. This is the result of (1) the isotope composition of reactants, (2) the nature of the reactions leading to formation and post-formational modification of the samples, (3) the environmental conditions under which the reactions took place, and (4) the relative concentration of the reactants compared to that of the products (i.e., [products]/[reactants] ratio). This article will examine the carbon isotope composition of terrestrial plant materials and its relationship with the above factors. delta13C(PDB) values of terrestrial plants range approximately from -8 to -38%, inclusive of C3-plants (-22 to -38%), C4-plants (-8 to -15%) and CAM-plants (-13 to -30%). Thus, the delta13C(PDB) values largely reflect the photosynthesis pathways of a plant as well as the genetics (i.e., species difference), delta13C(PDB) values of source CO2, relevant humidity, CO2/O2 ratios, wind and light intensity etc. Significant variations in these values also exist among different tissues, different portions of a tissue and different compounds. This is mainly a consequence of metabolic reactions. Animals mainly inherit the delta13C(PDB) values of the foods they consume; therefore, their delta13C(PDB) values are similar. The delta13C(PDB) values of plant materials, thus, contain information regarding the inner workings of the plants, the environmental conditions under which they grow, the delta13C(PDB) values of CO2 sources etc., and are unique. Furthermore, this uniqueness is passed on to their derivative matter, such as animals, humus etc. Hence, they are very powerful tools in many areas of research, including the ecological and environmental sciences.

  20. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity.

  1. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity. PMID:26197473

  2. How do soil texture, plant community composition and earthworms affected the infiltration rate in a grassland plant diversity experiment depending on season?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Christine; Britta, Merkel; Nico, Eisenhauer; Christiane, Roscher; Sabine, Attinger; Stefan, Scheu; Anke, Hildebrandt

    2013-04-01

    Background and aims: In this study we analyzed the influences of plant community characteristics, soil texture and earthworm presence on infiltration rates on a managed grassland plant diversity experiment assessing the role of biotic and abiotic factors on soil hydrology. Methods: We measured infiltration using a hood infiltrometer in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density (earthworm extraction) nested in plots of different plant species richness (1, 4, and 16), plant functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) in early summer (June) and autumn (September, October) 2011. Results: The presence of certain plant functional groups such as grasses and legumes influenced infiltration rates and this effect enhanced during the growing season. Infiltration was significantly higher in plots containing legumes than in plots without, and it was significantly lower in the presence of grasses than in their absence. In early summer, earthworm presence and biomass increased the infiltration rates, independently of plant species richness. In October, plant species richness only affected infiltration rates in reduced earthworm plots. At the end of the growing season earthworm populations were negatively influenced by grasses and positively by legumes. In September, infiltration rates were positive related to the proportion of finer grains. The correlation disappears when removing all plots containing legumes from the sample. For all measurements the infiltration rates decreases from early summer to autumn at the matric potentials at pressure zero and -0.02 m, but not for smaller macropores at matric potentials -0.04 and -0.06m. Conclusions: Considering infiltration rates as ecosystem function, this function will largely depend on the ecosystem composition and season, not on biodiversity per se. Our results indicate that biotic factors are of overriding influence for shaping infiltration rates mainly for larger macropores

  3. Microbial composition in a deep saline aquifer in the North German Basin -microbiologically induced corrosion and mineral precipitation affecting geothermal plant operation and the effects of plant downtime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerm, Stephanie; Westphal, Anke; Miethling-Graff, Rona; Alawi, Mashal; Seibt, Andrea; Wolfgramm, Markus; Würdemann, Hilke

    2013-04-01

    The microbial composition in fluids of a deep saline geothermal used aquifer in the North German Basin was characterized over a period of five years. The genetic fingerprinting techniques PCR-SSCP and PCR-DGGE revealed distinct microbial communities in fluids produced from the cold and warm side of the aquifer. Direct cell counting and quantification of 16S rRNA genes and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA) genes by real-time PCR proved different population sizes in fluids, showing higher abundance of Bacteria and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in cold fluids compared to warm fluids. Predominating SRB in the cold well probably accounted for corrosion damage to the submersible well pump, and iron sulfide precipitates in the near wellbore area and topside facility filters. This corresponded to a lower sulfate content in fluids produced from the cold well as well as higher content of hydrogen gas that was probably released from corrosion, and maybe favoured growth of hydrogenotrophic SRB. Plant downtime significantly influenced the microbial biocenosis in fluids. Samples taken after plant restart gave indications about the processes occurring downhole during those phases. High DNA concentrations in fluids at the beginning of the restart process with a decreasing trend over time indicated a higher abundance of microbes during plant downtime compared to regular plant operation. It is likely that a gradual drop in temperature as well as stagnant conditions favoured the growth of microbes and maturation of biofilms at the casing and in pores of the reservoir rock in the near wellbore area. Furthermore, it became obvious that the microorganisms were more associated to particles then free-living. This study reflects the high influence of microbial populations for geothermal plant operation, because microbiologically induced precipitative and corrosive processes adversely affect plant reliability. Those processes may favourably occur during plant downtime due to enhanced

  4. The influence of alternative plant propagation and stand establishment techniques on survival and growth of eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides Bartr.) clones.

    SciTech Connect

    Kaczmarek, Donald J.; et. al.,

    2014-02-09

    Four eastern cottonwood clones, including standard operational clone ST66 and three advanced clonal selections were produced and included in a test utilizing five different plant propagation methods. Despite relatively large first-year growth differences among clones, all clones demonstrated similar responses to the treatments and clone 9 cutting treatment interactions were generally non-significant. The effects of changing cutting lengths are consistent with previous studies which indicated the potential for increased plant survival and growth with increased cutting lengths. Differences in stored carbohydrate reserves alone do not appear to completely control first-year growth and development of cuttings. First-year growth of 51 cm long cuttings planted 30.5 cm deep was greater than the same cuttings planted 48 cm deep. Stem form of plants derived from whip-tip propagation did not differ from plants derived from standard, unrooted cuttings. This propagation method offers the potential of far greater production capacity from a cutting orchard and rapid bulk-up of new or limited clones. Stand uniformity assessments suggest that surviving trees of each individual cutting treatment exhibit similar levels of growth variation. Optimization of plantation establishment techniques has the potential to increase growth of young Populus plantations.

  5. NIMA-related kinase NEK6 affects plant growth and stress response in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bo; Chen, Hao-Wei; Mu, Rui-Ling; Zhang, Wang-Ke; Zhao, Ming-Yu; Wei, Wei; Wang, Fang; Yu, Hui; Lei, Gang; Zou, Hong-Feng; Ma, Biao; Chen, Shou-Yi; Zhang, Jin-Song

    2011-12-01

    The NIMA-related kinases (NEKs) are a family of serine/threonine kinases involved largely in cell cycle control in fungi, mammals and other eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis, NEK6 is involved in the regulation of epidermal cell morphogenesis. However, other roles of NEK6 in plants are less well understood. Here we report functions of NEK6 in plant growth, development and stress responses in Arabidopsis. NEK6 transcripts and proteins are induced by ethylene precursor ACC and salt stress. Expression of other NEK genes except NEK5 is also responsive to the two treatments. Overexpression and mutant analysis disclose that the NEK6 gene increases rosette growth, seed yield and lateral root formation. However, NEK6 appears to play a negative role in the control of seed size. The gene also promotes plant tolerance to salt stress and osmotic stress in its overexpressing plants. The NEK6 gene may achieve its function through suppression of ethylene biosynthesis and activation of CYCB1;1 and CYCA3;1 expression. Our present study reveals new functions of the NEK6 gene in plant growth and stress tolerance, and manipulation of NEK6 may improve important agronomic traits in crop plants.

  6. The Bacterial Pathogen Xylella fastidiosa Affects the Leaf Ionome of Plant Hosts during Infection

    PubMed Central

    De La Fuente, Leonardo; Parker, Jennifer K.; Oliver, Jonathan E.; Granger, Shea; Brannen, Phillip M.; van Santen, Edzard; Cobine, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Xylella fastidiosa is a plant pathogenic bacterium that lives inside the host xylem vessels, where it forms biofilm believed to be responsible for disrupting the passage of water and nutrients. Here, Nicotiana tabacum was infected with X. fastidiosa, and the spatial and temporal changes in the whole-leaf ionome (i.e. the mineral and trace element composition) were measured as the host plant transitioned from healthy to diseased physiological status. The elemental composition of leaves was used as an indicator of the physiological changes in the host at a specific time and relative position during plant development. Bacterial infection was found to cause significant increases in concentrations of calcium prior to the appearance of symptoms and decreases in concentrations of phosphorous after symptoms appeared. Field-collected leaves from multiple varieties of grape, blueberry, and pecan plants grown in different locations over a four-year period in the Southeastern US showed the same alterations in Ca and P. This descriptive ionomics approach characterizes the existence of a mineral element-based response to X. fastidiosa using a model system suitable for further manipulation to uncover additional details of the role of mineral elements during plant-pathogen interactions. This is the first report on the dynamics of changes in the ionome of the host plant throughout the process of infection by a pathogen. PMID:23667547

  7. How light competition between plants affects their response to climate change.

    PubMed

    van Loon, Marloes P; Schieving, Feike; Rietkerk, Max; Dekker, Stefan C; Sterck, Frank; Anten, Niels P R

    2014-09-01

    How plants respond to climate change is of major concern, as plants will strongly impact future ecosystem functioning, food production and climate. Here, we investigated how vegetation structure and functioning may be influenced by predicted increases in annual temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentration, and modeled the extent to which local plant-plant interactions may modify these effects. A canopy model was developed, which calculates photosynthesis as a function of light, nitrogen, temperature, CO2 and water availability, and considers different degrees of light competition between neighboring plants through canopy mixing; soybean (Glycine max) was used as a reference system. The model predicts increased net photosynthesis and reduced stomatal conductance and transpiration under atmospheric CO2 increase. When CO2 elevation is combined with warming, photosynthesis is increased more, but transpiration is reduced less. Intriguingly, when competition is considered, the optimal response shifts to producing larger leaf areas, but with lower stomatal conductance and associated vegetation transpiration than when competition is not considered. Furthermore, only when competition is considered are the predicted effects of elevated CO2 on leaf area index (LAI) well within the range of observed effects obtained by Free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments. Together, our results illustrate how competition between plants may modify vegetation responses to climate change.

  8. Big plants — Do they affect neighbourhood species richness and composition in herbaceous vegetation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Schamp, Brandon S.; Wight, Stephanie

    2014-02-01

    According to traditional theory, success in competition between plant species generally involves a 'size-advantage'. We predicted therefore that plants with larger body size should impose greater limits on the number of species — especially relatively small ones — that can reside within their immediate neighbourhoods. Species composition was compared within local neighbourhoods surrounding target plants of different sizes belonging to one of the largest herbaceous species found within old-field vegetation in eastern Ontario Canada — Centaurea jacea. Resident species density was generally greater within immediate 'inner' target neighbourhoods than within adjacent circular 'outer' neighbourhoods, and mean body size of resident neighbour species was unrelated to increases in target plant size. As target plant size increased, the proportion of resident neighbour species that were reproductive increased. Relatively big plants of C. jacea do not limit the number or the proportion of reproductive species that can coexist within their immediate neighbourhoods, nor do they cause local exclusion of relatively small species from these neighbourhoods. These results fail to support the 'size-advantage' hypothesis and are more consistent with the 'reproductive economy advantage' hypothesis: success under intense competition is promoted by capacity to recruit offspring that — despite severe suppression — are able to reach their minimum body size needed for reproduction, and hence produce grand-offspring for the next generation. The latter is facilitated by a relatively small minimum reproductive threshold size, which is generally negatively correlated with a relatively large maximum potential body size.

  9. The bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa affects the leaf ionome of plant hosts during infection.

    PubMed

    De La Fuente, Leonardo; Parker, Jennifer K; Oliver, Jonathan E; Granger, Shea; Brannen, Phillip M; van Santen, Edzard; Cobine, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    Xylella fastidiosa is a plant pathogenic bacterium that lives inside the host xylem vessels, where it forms biofilm believed to be responsible for disrupting the passage of water and nutrients. Here, Nicotiana tabacum was infected with X. fastidiosa, and the spatial and temporal changes in the whole-leaf ionome (i.e. the mineral and trace element composition) were measured as the host plant transitioned from healthy to diseased physiological status. The elemental composition of leaves was used as an indicator of the physiological changes in the host at a specific time and relative position during plant development. Bacterial infection was found to cause significant increases in concentrations of calcium prior to the appearance of symptoms and decreases in concentrations of phosphorous after symptoms appeared. Field-collected leaves from multiple varieties of grape, blueberry, and pecan plants grown in different locations over a four-year period in the Southeastern US showed the same alterations in Ca and P. This descriptive ionomics approach characterizes the existence of a mineral element-based response to X. fastidiosa using a model system suitable for further manipulation to uncover additional details of the role of mineral elements during plant-pathogen interactions. This is the first report on the dynamics of changes in the ionome of the host plant throughout the process of infection by a pathogen.

  10. The Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatile Methyl Salicylate Negatively Affects Attraction of the Parasitoid Diadegma semiclausum

    PubMed Central

    Mumm, Roland; Poelman, Erik H.; Yang, Yue; Pichersky, Eran; Dicke, Marcel

    2010-01-01

    The indirect defense mechanisms of plants comprise the production of herbivore-induced plant volatiles that can attract natural enemies of plant attackers. One of the often emitted compounds after herbivory is methyl salicylate (MeSA). Here, we studied the importance of this caterpillar-induced compound in the attraction of the parasitoid wasp Diadegma semiclausum by using a mutant Arabidopsis line. Pieris rapae infested AtBSMT1-KO mutant Arabidopsis plants, compromised in the biosynthesis of MeSA, were more attractive to parasitoids than infested wild-type plants. This suggests that the presence of MeSA has negative effects on parasitoid host-finding behavior when exposed to wild-type production of herbivore-induced Arabidopsis volatiles. Furthermore, in line with this, we recorded a positive correlation between MeSA dose and repellence of D. semiclausum when supplementing the headspace of caterpillar-infested AtBSMT1-KO plants with synthetic MeSA. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10886-010-9787-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20407809

  11. Expression of a calmodulin methylation mutant affects the growth and development of transgenic tobacco plants.

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, D M; Besl, L; Oh, S H; Masterson, R V; Schell, J; Stacey, G

    1992-01-01

    Transgenic plants were constructed that express two foreign calmodulins (VU-1 and VU-3 calmodulins) derived from a cloned synthetic calmodulin gene. VU-1 calmodulin, similar to endogenous plant calmodulin, possesses a lysine residue at position 115 and undergoes posttranslational methylation. VU-3 calmodulin is a site-directed mutant of VU-1 calmodulin that is identical in sequence except for the substitution of an arginine at position 115 and thus is incapable of methylation. Both calmodulin genes, under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter, were expressed in transgenic tobacco. Foreign calmodulin protein accumulated in plant tissues to levels equivalent to that of the endogenous calmodulin. All transformed lines of VU-1 plants were indistinguishable from untransformed controls with respect to growth and development. However, all transformed lines of VU-3 plants were characterized by decreased stem internode growth, reduced seed production, and reduced seed and pollen viability. The data suggest that these phenotypes are the result of the expression of the calmodulin mutant rather than the position of transferred DNA insertion or the overall alteration of calmodulin levels. Analyses of the activity of the purified transgenic calmodulins suggest that calmodulin-dependent NAD kinase is among the potential targets that may have altered regulation in VU-3 transgenic plants. Images PMID:1325656

  12. Cell Number Regulator1 affects plant and organ size in maize: implications for crop yield enhancement and heterosis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Mei; Rupe, Mary A; Dieter, Jo Ann; Zou, Jijun; Spielbauer, Daniel; Duncan, Keith E; Howard, Richard J; Hou, Zhenglin; Simmons, Carl R

    2010-04-01

    Genes involved in cell number regulation may affect plant growth and organ size and, ultimately, crop yield. The tomato (genus Solanum) fruit weight gene fw2.2, for instance, governs a quantitative trait locus that accounts for 30% of fruit size variation, with increased fruit size chiefly due to increased carpel ovary cell number. To expand investigation of how related genes may impact other crop plant or organ sizes, we identified the maize (Zea mays) gene family of putative fw2.2 orthologs, naming them Cell Number Regulator (CNR) genes. This family represents an ancient eukaryotic family of Cys-rich proteins containing the PLAC8 or DUF614 conserved motif. We focused on native expression and transgene analysis of the two maize members closest to Le-fw2.2, namely, CNR1 and CNR2. We show that CNR1 reduced overall plant size when ectopically overexpressed and that plant and organ size increased when its expression was cosuppressed or silenced. Leaf epidermal cell counts showed that the increased or decreased transgenic plant and organ size was due to changes in cell number, not cell size. CNR2 expression was found to be negatively correlated with tissue growth activity and hybrid seedling vigor. The effects of CNR1 on plant size and cell number are reminiscent of heterosis, which also increases plant size primarily through increased cell number. Regardless of whether CNRs and other cell number-influencing genes directly contribute to, or merely mimic, heterosis, they may aid generation of more vigorous and productive crop plants.

  13. 29 CFR 570.51 - Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Labor Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS CHILD LABOR REGULATIONS, ORDERS AND STATEMENTS OF INTERPRETATION Occupations Particularly Hazardous for... 29 Labor 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Occupations in or about plants or...

  14. EVALUATING THE ROLE OF HABITAT QUALITY ON ESTABLISHMENT OF GM AGROSTIS STOLONIFERA PLANTS IN NON-AGRONOMIC SETTINGS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We compared soil chemistry and plant community data at non-agronomic mesic locations that either did or did not contain genetically modified (GM) Agrostis stolonifera. The best two-variable logistic regression model included soil Mn content and A. stolonifera cover and explained...

  15. Effects of cover crop management and planting operations on cotton establishment and yield in a no-till system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One method to save resources while positively impacting the environment is combining agricultural field operations. In no-till systems, for example, termination of cover crops and planting of the cash crop can be performed simultaneously utilizing a tractor as a single power source. A no-till field ...

  16. Conservation Potential of Abandoned Military Areas Matches That of Established Reserves: Plants and Butterflies in the Czech Republic

    PubMed Central

    Cizek, Oldrich; Vrba, Pavel; Benes, Jiri; Hrazsky, Zaboj; Koptik, Jiri; Kucera, Tomas; Marhoul, Pavel; Zamecnik, Jaroslav; Konvicka, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Military training generates frequent and irregular disturbance followed by succession, resulting in fine-scaled mosaics of ecological conditions in military training areas (MTAs). The awareness that MTAs may represent important biodiversity sanctuaries is increasing recently. Concurrently, changes in military doctrine are leading to abandonment of many MTAs, which are being brought under civilian administration and opened for development. We surveyed vascular plants in 43 and butterflies in 41 MTAs in the Czech Republic and compared the records with plants and butterfly records from 301 and 125 nature reserves, respectively. After controlling for effects of area, geography, and climate, we found that plant species richness was equal in the two land use categories; butterfly richness was higher in MTAs; reserves hosted more endangered plants and more endangered butterflies. Ordination analyses, again controlled for potential nuisance effects, showed that MTAs and reserves differed also in species composition. While specialist species of nationally rarest habitat types inclined towards the reserves, MTAs hosted a high representation of endangered species depending on either disturbed ground, or successionaly transient conditions. These patterns reflect the history of the national nature reserves network, and the disturbance-succession dynamics within MTAs. The conservation value of formerly army-used lands is increasingly threatened by abandonment, and conservationists should support either alternative uses mimicking army activities, or sustainable management regimes. PMID:23326388

  17. Conservation potential of abandoned military areas matches that of established reserves: plants and butterflies in the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Cizek, Oldrich; Vrba, Pavel; Benes, Jiri; Hrazsky, Zaboj; Koptik, Jiri; Kucera, Tomas; Marhoul, Pavel; Zamecnik, Jaroslav; Konvicka, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Military training generates frequent and irregular disturbance followed by succession, resulting in fine-scaled mosaics of ecological conditions in military training areas (MTAs). The awareness that MTAs may represent important biodiversity sanctuaries is increasing recently. Concurrently, changes in military doctrine are leading to abandonment of many MTAs, which are being brought under civilian administration and opened for development. We surveyed vascular plants in 43 and butterflies in 41 MTAs in the Czech Republic and compared the records with plants and butterfly records from 301 and 125 nature reserves, respectively. After controlling for effects of area, geography, and climate, we found that plant species richness was equal in the two land use categories; butterfly richness was higher in MTAs; reserves hosted more endangered plants and more endangered butterflies. Ordination analyses, again controlled for potential nuisance effects, showed that MTAs and reserves differed also in species composition. While specialist species of nationally rarest habitat types inclined towards the reserves, MTAs hosted a high representation of endangered species depending on either disturbed ground, or successionaly transient conditions. These patterns reflect the history of the national nature reserves network, and the disturbance-succession dynamics within MTAs. The conservation value of formerly army-used lands is increasingly threatened by abandonment, and conservationists should support either alternative uses mimicking army activities, or sustainable management regimes.

  18. Root zone temperature affects the phytoextraction of Ba, Cl, Sn, Pt, and Rb using potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L. var. Spunta) in the field.

    PubMed

    Baghour, M; Moreno, D A; Víllora, G; Hernández, J; Castilla, N; Romero, L

    2002-01-01

    Three consecutive years of field experiments were conducted to investigate how different root-zone temperatures, manipulated by using different mulches, affect the phytoextraction of Ba, Cl, Sn, Pt and Rb in different organs of potato plants (roots, tubers, stems and leaves). Four different plastic covers were used (T1: transparent polyethylene; T2: white polyethylene; T3: white and black coextruded polyethylene, and T4: black polyethylene), using uncovered plants as control (T0). The different treatments had a significant effect on mean root zone temperatures (T0 = 16 degrees C, T1 = 20 degrees C, T2 = 23 degrees C, T3 = 27 degrees C and T4 = 30 degrees C) and induced a significantly different response in Ba, Cl, Sn, Pt and Rb concentration and accumulation. The T3 treatment gave rise to the greatest phytoextraction of Ba, Pt, Cl and Sn in the roots, leaflets and tubers. In terms of the relative distribution of the phytoaccumulated elements (as percentage of the total within the plant), Pt and Ba accumulated mainly in the roots whereas Rb, Sn and Cl accumulated primarily in tubers, establishing a close relationship between the biomass development of each organ and phytoaccumulation capacity of metals in response to temperature in the root zone.

  19. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment.

  20. Changes in the salinity tolerance of sweet pepper plants as affected by nitrogen form and high CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Piñero, María C; Pérez-Jiménez, Margarita; López-Marín, Josefa; Del Amor, Francisco M

    2016-08-01

    The assimilation and availability of nitrogen in its different forms can significantly affect the response of primary productivity under the current atmospheric alteration and soil degradation. An elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) triggers changes in the efficiency and efficacy of photosynthetic processes, water use and product yield, the plant response to stress being altered with respect to ambient CO2 conditions (a[CO2]). Additionally, NH4(+) has been related to improved plant responses to stress, considering both energy efficiency in N-assimilation and the overcoming of the inhibition of photorespiration at e[CO2]. Therefore, the aim of this work was to determine the response of sweet pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) receiving an additional supply of NH4(+) (90/10 NO3(-)/NH4(+)) to salinity stress (60mM NaCl) under a[CO2] (400μmolmol(-1)) or e[CO2] (800μmolmol(-1)). Salt-stressed plants grown at e[CO2] showed DW accumulation similar to that of the non-stressed plants at a[CO2]. The supply of NH4(+) reduced growth at e[CO2] when salinity was imposed. Moreover, NH4(+) differentially affected the stomatal conductance and water use efficiency and the leaf Cl(-), K(+), and Na(+) concentrations, but the extent of the effects was influenced by the [CO2]. An antioxidant-related response was prompted by salinity, the total phenolics and proline concentrations being reduced by NH4(+) at e[CO2]. Our results show that the effect of NH4(+) on plant salinity tolerance should be globally re-evaluated as e[CO2] can significantly alter the response, when compared with previous studies at a[CO2].

  1. Roads in northern hardwood forests affect adjacent plant communities and soil chemistry in proportion to the maintained roadside area.

    PubMed

    Neher, Deborah A; Asmussen, David; Lovell, Sarah Taylor

    2013-04-01

    The spatial extent of the transported materials from three road types was studied in forest soil and vegetative communities in Vermont. Hypotheses were two-fold: 1) soil chemical concentrations above background environment would reflect traffic volume and road type (highway>2-lane paved>gravel), and 2) plant communities close to the road and near roads with greater traffic will be disturbance-tolerant and adept at colonization. Soil samples were gathered from 12 randomly identified transects for each of three road types classified as "highway," "two-lane paved," and "gravel." Using GIS mapping, transects were constructed perpendicular to the road, and samples were gathered at the shoulder, ditch, backslope, 10 m from the edge of the forest, and 50 m from road center. Sample locations were analyzed for a suite of soil elements and parameters, as well as percent area coverage by plant species. The main effects from roads depended on the construction modifications required for a roadway (i.e., vegetation clearing and topography modification). The cleared area defined the type of plant community and the distance that road pollutants travel. Secondarily, road presence affected soil chemistry. Metal concentrations (e.g., Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn) correlated positively with road type. Proximity to all road types made the soils more alkaline (pH 7.7) relative to the acidic soil of the adjacent native forest (pH 5.6). Roadside microtopography had marked effects on the composition of plant communities based on the direction of water flow. Ditch areas supported wetland plant species, greater soil moisture and sulfur content, while plant communities closer to the road were characteristic of drier upland zones. The area beyond the edge of the forest did not appear to be affected chemically or physically by any of the road types, possibly due to the dense vegetation that typically develops outside of the managed right-of-way.

  2. Water and phosphorus content affect PAH dissipation in spiked soil planted with mycorrhizal alfalfa and tall fescue.

    PubMed

    Zhou, X B; Cébron, A; Béguiristain, T; Leyval, C

    2009-10-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) dissipation efficiency can be increased in the plant rhizosphere, but may be affected by various environmental factors. We investigated the effects of the watering regime and phosphorus concentration on PAH dissipation in the rhizosphere of mycorrhizal plants in a pot experiment. Two plant species, alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), were co-cultured and inoculated with an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus (Glomus intraradices) in PAH (phenanthrene (PHE)=500 mg kg(-1), pyrene (PYR)=500 mg kg(-1), dibenzo(a,h)anthracene (DBA)=65 mg kg(-1)) spiked agricultural soil for 6 weeks. Treatments with different phosphorus concentrations and watering regimes were compared. The PHE dissipation reached 90% in all treatments and was not affected by the treatments. The major finding was the significant positive impact of mycorrhizal plants on the dissipation of high molecular weight PAH (DBA) in high-water low-phosphorus treatment. Such an effect was not observed in high-water high-phosphorus and low-water low-phosphorus treatments, where AM colonization was very low. A positive linear relationship was detected between PYR dissipation and the percentage of Gram-positive PAH-ring hydroxylating dioxygenase genes in high-water high-phosphorus treatments, but not in the other two treatments with lower phosphorus concentrations and water contents. Such results indicated that the phosphorus and water regime were important parameters for the dissipation of HMW-PAH.

  3. Plant establishment and invasions: an increase in a seed disperser combined with land abandonment causes an invasion of the non-native walnut in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Moroń, Dawid; Tworek, Stanisław; Woyciechowski, Michał

    2012-01-01

    Successful invasive species often are established for a long time period before increasing exponentially in abundance. This lag phase is one of the least understood phenomena of biological invasions. Plant invasions depend on three factors: a seed source, suitable habitat and a seed disperser. The non-native walnut, Juglans regia, has been planted for centuries in Central Europe but, until recently, has not spread beyond planted areas. However, in the past 20 years, we have observed a rapid increase in walnut abundance, specifically in abandoned agricultural fields. The dominant walnut disperser is the rook, Corvus frugilegus. During the past 50 years, rooks have increased in abundance and now commonly inhabit human settlements, where walnut trees are planted. Central Europe has, in the past few decades, experienced large-scale land abandonment. Walnut seeds dispersed into ploughed fields do not survive, but when cached into ploughed and then abandoned fields, they successfully establish. Rooks preferentially cache seeds in ploughed fields. Thus, land-use change combined with disperser changes can cause rapid increase of a non-native species, allowing it to become invasive. This may have cascading effects on the entire ecosystem. Thus, species that are non-native and not invasive can become invasive as habitats and dispersers change. PMID:22072603

  4. Plant establishment and invasions: an increase in a seed disperser combined with land abandonment causes an invasion of the non-native walnut in Europe.

    PubMed

    Lenda, Magdalena; Skórka, Piotr; Knops, Johannes M H; Morón, Dawid; Tworek, Stanisław; Woyciechowski, Michał

    2012-04-22

    Successful invasive species often are established for a long time period before increasing exponentially in abundance. This lag phase is one of the least understood phenomena of biological invasions. Plant invasions depend on three factors: a seed source, suitable habitat and a seed disperser. The non-native walnut, Juglans regia, has been planted for centuries in Central Europe but, until recently, has not spread beyond planted areas. However, in the past 20 years, we have observed a rapid increase in walnut abundance, specifically in abandoned agricultural fields. The dominant walnut disperser is the rook, Corvus frugilegus. During the past 50 years, rooks have increased in abundance and now commonly inhabit human settlements, where walnut trees are planted. Central Europe has, in the past few decades, experienced large-scale land abandonment. Walnut seeds dispersed into ploughed fields do not survive, but when cached into ploughed and then abandoned fields, they successfully establish. Rooks preferentially cache seeds in ploughed fields. Thus, land-use change combined with disperser changes can cause rapid increase of a non-native species, allowing it to become invasive. This may have cascading effects on the entire ecosystem. Thus, species that are non-native and not invasive can become invasive as habitats and dispersers change.

  5. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    SciTech Connect

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  6. Complex inter-Kingdom interactions: carnivorous plants affect growth of an aquatic vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Davenport, Jon M; Riley, Alex W

    2017-05-01

    Coexistence of organisms in nature is more likely when phenotypic similarities of individuals are reduced. Despite the lack of similarity, distantly related taxa still compete intensely for shared resources. No larger difference between organisms that share a common prey could exist than between carnivorous plants and animals. However, few studies have considered inter-Kingdom competition among carnivorous plants and animals. In order to evaluate interactions between a carnivorous plant (greater bladderwort, Utricularia vulgaris) and a vertebrate (bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus) on a shared prey (zooplankton), we conducted a mesocosm experiment. We deployed two levels of bladderwort presence (functional and crushed) and measured bluegill responses (survival and growth). Zooplankton abundance was reduced the greatest in bluegill and functional bladderwort treatments. Bluegill survival did not differ among treatments, but growth was greatest with crushed bladderwort. Thus, bluegill growth was facilitated by reducing interference competition in the presence of crushed bladderwort. The facilitating effect was dampened, however, when functional bladderwort removed a shared prey. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to experimentally demonstrate interactions between a carnivorous plant and a fish. Our data suggest that carnivorous plants may actively promote or reduce animal co-occurrence from some ecosystems via facilitation or competition.

  7. Uptake of Pharmaceuticals Influences Plant Development and Affects Nutrient and Hormone Homeostases.

    PubMed

    Carter, Laura J; Williams, Mike; Böttcher, Christine; Kookana, Rai S

    2015-10-20

    The detection of a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the soil environment has led to a number of publications demonstrating uptake by crops, however very few studies have explored the potential for impacts on plant development as a result of API uptake. This study investigated the effect of carbamazepine and verapamil (0.005-10 mg/kg) on a range of plant responses in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo). Uptake increased in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum leaf concentrations of 821.9 and 2.2 mg/kg for carbamazepine and verapamil, respectively. Increased carbamazepine uptake by zucchini resulted in a decrease in above (<60%) and below (<30%) ground biomass compared to the controls (p < 0.05). At soil concentrations >4 mg/kg the mature leaves suffered from burnt edges and white spots as well as a reduction in photosynthetic pigments but no such effects were seen for verapamil. For both APIs, further investigations revealed significant differences in the concentrations of selected plant hormones (auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and jasmonates), and in the nutrient composition of the leaves in comparison to the controls (p < 0.05). This is some of the first research to demonstrate that the exposure of plants to APIs is likely to cause impacts on plant development with unknown implications.

  8. Different Factors Affecting Short Circuit Behavior of a Wind Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Muljadi, E.; Samaan, Nader A.; Gevorgian, Vahan; Li, Jun; Pasupulati, Subbaiah

    2013-01-31

    A wind power plant consists of a large number of turbines interconnected by underground cable. A pad-mount transformer at each turbine steps up the voltage from generating voltage (690 V) to a medium voltage (34.5 kV). All turbines in the plant are connected to the substation transformer where the voltage is stepped up to the transmission level. An important aspect of wind power plant (WPP) impact studies is to evaluate the short-circuit (SC) current contribution of the plant into the transmission network under different fault conditions. This task can be challenging to protection engineers due to the topology differences between different types of wind turbine generators (WTGs) and the conventional generating units. This paper investigates the short circuit behavior of a wind power plant for different types of faults. The impact of wind turbine types, the transformer configuration, and the reactive compensation capacitor will be investigated. The voltage response at different buses will be observed. Finally, the SC line currents will be presented along with its symmetrical components.

  9. Different Factors Affecting Short Circuit Behavior of a Wind Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Muljadi, E.; Samaan, Nader A.; Gevorgian, Vahan; Li, Jun; Pasupulati, Subbaiah

    2010-12-21

    A wind power plant consists of a large number of turbines interconnected by underground cable. A pad-mount transformer at each turbine steps up the voltage from generating voltage (690 V) to a medium voltage (34.5 kV). All turbines in the plant are connected to the substation transformer where the voltage is stepped up to the transmission level. An important aspect of wind power plant (WPP) impact studies is to evaluate the short-circuit (SC) current contribution of the plant into the transmission network under different fault conditions. This task can be challenging to protection engineers due to the topology differences between different types of wind turbine generators (WTGs) and the conventional generating units. This paper investigates the short circuit behavior of a wind power plant for different types of faults. The impact of wind turbine types, the transformer configuration, and the reactive compensation capacitor will be investigated. The voltage response at different buses will be observed. Finally, the SC line currents will be presented along with its symmetrical components.

  10. Do postfire mulching treatments affect plant community recovery in California coastal sage scrub lands?

    PubMed

    McCullough, Sarah A; Endress, Bryan A

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of postfire mulch treatments to stabilize slopes and reduce soil erosion in shrubland ecosystems has increased; however, the potential effects on plant recovery have not been examined. To evaluate the effects of mulching treatments on postfire plant recovery in southern California coastal sage scrub, we conducted a field experiment with three experimental treatments, consisting of two hydromulch products and an erosion control blanket, plus a control treatment. The area burned in 2007, and treatments were applied to six plot blocks before the 2008 growing season. Treatment effects on plant community recovery were analyzed with a mixed effects ANOVA analysis using a univariate repeated measures approach. Absolute plant cover increased from 13 to 90% by the end of the second growing season, and the mean relative cover of exotic species was 32%. The two hydromulch treatments had no effect on any plant community recovery response variable measured. For the erosion control blanket treatment, the amount of bare ground cover at the end of the second growing season was significantly lower (P = 0.01), and greater shrub height was observed (P < 0.01). We conclude that postfire mulch treatments did not provide either a major benefit or negative impact to coastal sage scrub recovery on the study area.

  11. beta-tubulin affects cellulose microfibril orientation in plant secondary fibre cell walls.

    PubMed

    Spokevicius, Antanas V; Southerton, Simon G; MacMillan, Colleen P; Qiu, Deyou; Gan, Siming; Tibbits, Josquin F G; Moran, Gavin F; Bossinger, Gerd

    2007-08-01

    Cellulose microfibrils are the major structural component of plant secondary cell walls. Their arrangement in plant primary cell walls, and its consequent influence on cell expansion and cellular morphology, is directed by cortical microtubules; cylindrical protein filaments composed of heterodimers of alpha- and beta-tubulin. In secondary cell walls of woody plant stems the orientation of cellulose microfibrils influences the strength and flexibility of wood, providing the physical support that has been instrumental in vascular plant colonization of the troposphere. Here we show that a Eucalyptus grandisbeta-tubulin gene (EgrTUB1) is involved in determining the orientation of cellulose microfibrils in plant secondary fibre cell walls. This finding is based on RNA expression studies in mature trees, where we identified and isolated EgrTUB1 as a candidate for association with wood-fibre formation, and on the analysis of somatically derived transgenic wood sectors in Eucalyptus. We show that cellulose microfibril angle (MFA) is correlated with EgrTUB1 expression, and that MFA was significantly altered as a consequence of stable transformation with EgrTUB1. Our findings present an important step towards the production of fibres with altered tensile strength, stiffness and elastic properties, and shed light on one of the molecular mechanisms that has enabled trees to dominate terrestrial ecosystems.

  12. Plant waxy bloom on peas affects infection of pea aphids by Pandora neoaphidis.

    PubMed

    Duetting, Patrick S; Ding, Hongjian; Neufeld, Jeffrey; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2003-11-01

    This study examined the effects of the surface wax bloom of pea plants, Pisum sativum, on infection of pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum, by the fungal pathogen Pandora neoaphidis. In prior field surveys, a higher proportion of P. neoaphidis-killed pea aphids (cadavers) had been observed on a pea line with reduced wax bloom, as compared with a sister line with normal surface wax bloom. Laboratory bioassays were conducted in order to examine the mechanisms. After plants of each line infested with aphids were exposed to similar densities of conidia, the rate of accumulation of cadavers on the reduced wax line was significantly greater than on the normal wax bloom line; at the end of the experiment (13d), the proportion of aphid cadavers on the reduced wax line was approximately four times that on the normal wax bloom line. When plants were exposed to conidia first and then infested with aphids, the rate of accumulation of cadavers was slightly but significantly greater on the reduced wax line, and infection at the end of the experiment (16d) did not differ between the lines. When aphids were exposed first and then released onto the plants, no differences in the proportion of aphid cadavers were observed between the pea lines. Greater infection of pea aphid on reduced wax peas appears to depend upon plants being exposed to inoculum while aphids are settled in typical feeding positions on the plant. Additional experiments demonstrated increased adhesion and germination by P. neoaphidis conidia to leaf surfaces of the reduced wax line as compared with normal wax line, and this could help explain the higher infection rate by P. neoaphidis on the reduced wax line. In bioassays using surface waxes extracted from the two lines, there was no effect of wax source on germination of P. neoaphidis conidia.

  13. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Hemrová, Lucie; Knappová, Jana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Background Field translocation experiments (i.e., the introduction of seeds or seedlings of different species into different localities) are commonly used to study habitat associations of species, as well as factors limiting species distributions and local abundances. Species planted or sown in sites where they naturally occur are expected to perform better or equally well compared to sites at which they do not occur or are rare. This, however, contrasts with the predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and commonly reported intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback. The few previous studies indicating poorer performance of plants at sites where they naturally occur did not explore the mechanisms behind this pattern. Aims and Methods In this study, we used field translocation experiments established using both seeds and seedlings to study the determinants of local abundance of four dominant species in grasslands. To explore the possible effects of intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback on our results, we tested the effect of local species abundance on the performance of the plants in the field experiment. In addition, we set up a garden experiment to explore the intensity of intraspecific as well as interspecific feedback between the dominants used in the experiment. Key Results In some cases, the distribution and local abundances of the species were partly driven by habitat conditions at the sites, and species performed better at their own sites. However, the prevailing pattern was that the local dominants performed worse at sites where they naturally occur than at any other sites. Moreover, the success of plants in the field experiment was lower in the case of higher intraspecific abundance prior to experimental setup. In the garden feedback experiment, two of the species performed significantly worse in soils conditioned by their species than in soils conditioned by the other species. In addition, the performance of the plants was significantly

  14. Differential Response in Plant Taxa Morphology and Physiology During Increases in Late-Quaternary Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Affect Plant-Climate Interactions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Water, P. K.; Barnum, E.

    2004-12-01

    The effects of changing atmospheric CO2 on plant physiology mediate vegetation response to climate change. For example, growth chamber studies on short-lived plants show significant changes in plant morphology and physiological parameters such as changes in biomass and water-use efficiency (WUE; the amount of carbon assimilated to plant water-loss) as atmospheric CO2 concentrations increases from ˜200 p.p.m. to modern concentrations and beyond. Many modern studies show WUE increases linearly with rising atmospheric CO2 meaning that less water is expended for each unit of carbon assimilated. To test for the consistency of these findings with past, long-lived plants and in past communities growing under a similar range of atmospheric CO2 levels, macrofossils of select species were analyzed from packrat (Neotoma sp.) midden chronologies gathered throughout western North America. Measurement of and analysis for the stable isotope content of these macrofossils shows greater morphological and eco-physiological differences between species than expected from study results using growth chambers. For example, isotopic analysis shows long-standing associates, Pinus edulis and Juniperus spp. have significantly different WUE during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene. The WUE in Pinus edulis matches changes in atmospheric CO2 whereas Juniperus spp. does not. Yet over the same period, changes observed in Pinus flexilis needles from trees growing in cooler habitats above the pinyon-juniper woodlands are more similar to Juniperus spp. changes compared against trends in the more closely related Pinus edulis. Morphology changes occurring during this period include increased biomass and reduced stomata. These results show taxonomic differences in the morphological and physiological adaptation to changing CO2 concentrations. These responses need further assessment especially in light of their direct affect on plant-climate interactions.

  15. A comprehensive dose evaluation project concerning animals affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: its set-up and progress.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Shintaro; Inoue, Kazuya; Suzuki, Masatoshi; Urushihara, Yusuke; Kuwahara, Yoshikazu; Hayashi, Gohei; Shiga, Soichiro; Fukumoto, Motoi; Kino, Yasushi; Sekine, Tsutomu; Abe, Yasuyuki; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Isogai, Emiko; Yamashiro, Hideaki; Fukumoto, Manabu

    2015-12-01

    It is not an exaggeration to say that, without nuclear accidents or the analysis of radiation therapy, there is no way in which we are able to quantify radiation effects on humans. Therefore, the livestock abandoned in the ex-evacuation zone and euthanized due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident are extremely valuable for analyzing the environmental pollution, its biodistribution, the metabolism of radionuclides, dose evaluation and the influence of internal exposure. We, therefore, sought to establish an archive system and to open it to researchers for increasing our understanding of radiation biology and improving protection against radiation. The sample bank of animals affected by the FNPP accident consists of frozen tissue samples, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens, dose of radionuclides deposited, etc., with individual sampling data.

  16. A comprehensive dose evaluation project concerning animals affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: its set-up and progress

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Shintaro; Inoue, Kazuya; Suzuki, Masatoshi; Urushihara, Yusuke; Kuwahara, Yoshikazu; Hayashi, Gohei; Shiga, Soichiro; Fukumoto, Motoi; Kino, Yasushi; Sekine, Tsutomu; Abe, Yasuyuki; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Isogai, Emiko; Yamashiro, Hideaki; Fukumoto, Manabu

    2015-01-01

    It is not an exaggeration to say that, without nuclear accidents or the analysis of radiation therapy, there is no way in which we are able to quantify radiation effects on humans. Therefore, the livestock abandoned in the ex-evacuation zone and euthanized due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident are extremely valuable for analyzing the environmental pollution, its biodistribution, the metabolism of radionuclides, dose evaluation and the influence of internal exposure. We, therefore, sought to establish an archive system and to open it to researchers for increasing our understanding of radiation biology and improving protection against radiation. The sample bank of animals affected by the FNPP accident consists of frozen tissue samples, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens, dose of radionuclides deposited, etc., with individual sampling data. PMID:26687285

  17. Study of Plant Cell Wall Polymers Affected by Metal Accumulation Using Stimulated Raman Scattering Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, Shi-You

    2015-03-02

    This project aims to employ newly-developed chemical imaging techniques to measure, in real-time, the concentration, dynamics and spatial distribution of plant cell wall polymers during biomass growth with inoculation of transgenic symbiotic fungi, and to explore a new pathway of delivering detoxified metal to plant apoplast using transgenic symbiotic fungi, which will enhance metal accumulation from soil, and potentially these metals may in turn be used as catalysts to improve the efficiency of biomass conversion to biofuels. The proposed new pathway of biomass production will: 1) benefit metal and radionuclide contaminant mobility in subsurface environments, and 2) potentially improve biomass production and process for bioenergy

  18. Overexpression of the CC-type glutaredoxin, OsGRX6 affects hormone and nitrogen status in rice plants

    PubMed Central

    El-Kereamy, Ashraf; Bi, Yong-Mei; Mahmood, Kashif; Ranathunge, Kosala; Yaish, Mahmoud W.; Nambara, Eiji; Rothstein, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Glutaredoxins (GRXs) are small glutathione dependent oxidoreductases that belong to the Thioredoxin (TRX) superfamily and catalyze the reduction of disulfide bonds of their substrate proteins. Plant GRXs include three different groups based on the motif sequence, namely CPYC, CGFS, and CC-type proteins. The rice CC-type proteins, OsGRX6 was identified during the screening for genes whose expression changes depending on the level of available nitrate. Overexpression of OsGRX6 in rice displayed a semi-dwarf phenotype. The OsGRX6 overexpressors contain a higher nitrogen content than the wild type, indicating that OsGRX6 plays a role in homeostatic regulation of nitrogen use. Consistent with this, OsGRX6 overexpressors displayed delayed chlorophyll degradation and senescence compared to the wild type plants. To examine if the growth defect of these transgenic lines attribute to disturbed plant hormone actions, plant hormone levels were measured. The levels of two cytokinins (CKs), 2-isopentenyladenine and trans-zeatin, and gibberellin A1 (GA1) were increased in these lines. We also found that these transgenic lines were less sensitive to exogenously applied GA, suggesting that the increase in GA1 is a result of the feedback regulation. These data suggest that OsGRX6 affects hormone signaling and nitrogen status in rice plants. PMID:26579177

  19. Mulch and fertilizer management practices for organic production of highbush blueberry. I. Plant growth and allocation of biomass during establishment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A systems trial was established to evaluate management practices for organic production of highbush blueberry. The practices included two bed types (flat and raised), two sources and rates of fertilizer (feather meal and fish emulsion applied at 29 and 57 kg/ha N), three mulches [sawdust, compost to...

  20. Mulch and fertilizer management practices for organic production of highbush blueberry. II. Impact on plant and soil nutrients during establishment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A systems trial was established to evaluate management practices for organic production of highbush blueberry. The practices included two bed types (flat and raised), two sources and rates of fertilizer (feather meal and fish emulsion applied at 29 and 57 kg/ha N), three mulches [sawdust, compost to...

  1. CO2, Temperature, and Soil Moisture Interactions Affect NDVI and Reproductive Phenology in Old-Field Plant Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, C.; Weltzin, J.; Norby, R.

    2004-12-01

    Plant community composition and ecosystem function may be altered by global atmospheric and climate change, including increased atmospheric [CO2], temperature, and varying precipitation regimes. We are conducting an experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) utilizing open-top chambers to administer experimental treatments of elevated CO2 (+300 ppm), warming (+ 3 degrees Celsius), and varying soil moisture availability to experimental plant communities constructed of seven common old-field species, including C3 and C4 grasses, forbs, and legumes. During 2004 we monitored plant community phenology (NDVI) and plant reproductive phenology. Early in the year, NDVI was greater in wet treatment plots, and was unaffected by main effects of temperature or CO2. This result suggests that early in the season warming is insufficient to affect early canopy development. Differences in soil moisture sustained throughout the winter and into early spring may constitute an important control on early canopy greenup. Elevated CO2 alleviated detrimental effects of warming on NDVI, but only early in the season. As ambient temperatures increased, elevated temperatures negatively impacted NDVI only in the dry plots. Wetter conditions ameliorate the effects of warming on canopy greenness during the warmer seasons of the year. Warming increased rates of bolting, number of inflorescences, and time to reproductive maturity for Andropogon virginicus (a C4 bunchgrass). Solidago Canadensis (a C3 late-season forb) also produced flowers earlier in elevated temperatures. Conversely, none of the C3 grasses and forbs that bolt or flower in late spring or early summer responded to temperature or CO2. Results indicate that warming and drought may impact plant community phenology, and plant species reproductive phenology. Clearly community phenology is driven by complex interactions among temperature, water, and CO2 that change throughout the season. Our data stresses the importance of

  2. Plant spacing and weed control affect sunflower stalk insects and the girdling behavior of Dectes texanus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).

    PubMed

    Michaud, J P; Stahlman, P W; Jyoti, J L; Grant, A K

    2009-06-01

    We conducted a 2-yr study to determine the effects of crop density and weeds on levels of damage caused by stalk-boring insects in rain-fed sunflowers in west-central Kansas. Weed-free sunflower had higher seed weight and oil content in 2007, but not in 2006, but weeds did not affect infestation by stalk-boring insects in either year. High-density sunflower had lower estimated seed yield per unit area than low-density sunflower in both years, but percentage oil was slightly greater in the high-density treatment in 2006. Sunflowers were more heavily infested by larvae of Ataxia hubbardi Fisher, Cylindrocopturus adspersus (Leconte), and Pelochrista womanana (Kearfott) in 2006 than in 2007, ostensibly as a result of being planted earlier. Larvae of Dectes texanus LeConte appeared unaffected by planting date and were present in > 70% of plants in both years. Conditions during the period of crop maturity were much drier in 2006 than in 2007 and were associated with higher seed oil content and earlier and faster progression of stalk girdling by D. texanus larvae in both low- and high-density plots. There was also a strong effect of plant density on girdling behavior that seemed to be mediated by effects on soil moisture. Stalk girdling began earlier in high-density plots and a larger proportion of plants were girdled compared with low-density plots on all sampling dates in both years. Certain cultural tactics, in particular reduced plant spacing, have potential to delay the onset of girdling behavior by D. texanus larvae and thus mitigate losses that otherwise result from the lodging of girdled plants.

  3. An evaluation of new and established methods to determine T‐DNA copy number and homozygosity in transgenic plants.

    PubMed Central

    Głowacka, Katarzyna; Kromdijk, Johannes; Leonelli, Lauriebeth; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Clemente, Tom E.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Stable transformation of plants is a powerful tool for hypothesis testing. A rapid and reliable evaluation method of the transgenic allele for copy number and homozygosity is vital in analysing these transformations. Here the suitability of Southern blot analysis, thermal asymmetric interlaced (TAIL‐)PCR, quantitative (q)PCR and digital droplet (dd)PCR to estimate T‐DNA copy number, locus complexity and homozygosity were compared in transgenic tobacco. Southern blot analysis and ddPCR on three generations of transgenic offspring with contrasting zygosity and copy number were entirely consistent, whereas TAIL‐PCR often underestimated copy number. qPCR deviated considerably from the Southern blot results and had lower precision and higher variability than ddPCR. Comparison of segregation analyses and ddPCR of T1 progeny from 26 T0 plants showed that at least 19% of the lines carried multiple T‐DNA insertions per locus, which can lead to unstable transgene expression. Segregation analyses failed to detect these multiple copies, presumably because of their close linkage. This shows the importance of routine T‐DNA copy number estimation. Based on our results, ddPCR is the most suitable method, because it is as reliable as Southern blot analysis yet much faster. A protocol for this application of ddPCR to large plant genomes is provided. PMID:26670088

  4. An evaluation of new and established methods to determine T-DNA copy number and homozygosity in transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Głowacka, Katarzyna; Kromdijk, Johannes; Leonelli, Lauriebeth; Niyogi, Krishna K; Clemente, Tom E; Long, Stephen P

    2016-04-01

    Stable transformation of plants is a powerful tool for hypothesis testing. A rapid and reliable evaluation method of the transgenic allele for copy number and homozygosity is vital in analysing these transformations. Here the suitability of Southern blot analysis, thermal asymmetric interlaced (TAIL-)PCR, quantitative (q)PCR and digital droplet (dd)PCR to estimate T-DNA copy number, locus complexity and homozygosity were compared in transgenic tobacco. Southern blot analysis and ddPCR on three generations of transgenic offspring with contrasting zygosity and copy number were entirely consistent, whereas TAIL-PCR often underestimated copy number. qPCR deviated considerably from the Southern blot results and had lower precision and higher variability than ddPCR. Comparison of segregation analyses and ddPCR of T1 progeny from 26 T0 plants showed that at least 19% of the lines carried multiple T-DNA insertions per locus, which can lead to unstable transgene expression. Segregation analyses failed to detect these multiple copies, presumably because of their close linkage. This shows the importance of routine T-DNA copy number estimation. Based on our results, ddPCR is the most suitable method, because it is as reliable as Southern blot analysis yet much faster. A protocol for this application of ddPCR to large plant genomes is provided.

  5. [Characteristics of artificial grassland plant communities with different establishment duration and their relationships with soil properties in the source region of three rivers in China].

    PubMed

    Wang, Chang-ting; Cao, Guang-min; Wang, Qi-lan; Shi, Jian-jun; Du, Yan-gong; Long, Rui-jun

    2007-11-01

    This paper studied the biomass, species composition, and diversity index of artificial grassland plant communities with different establishment duration in the source region of the Three Rivers, and examined the relationships of soil physical and chemical properties with the changes of the plant community biomass and species diversity. The results showed that the species composition, functional group composition, and quantitative characters of the plant communities varied greatly. Soil moisture content increased with increasing species diversity, while soil bulk density was in adverse. Soil microbial biomass carbon significantly positively correlated with soil moisture and organic matter contents, but negatively correlated with soil bulk density. Soil organic carbon content had a "V" type change, which was consistent with the change pattern of soil moisture content, and decreased with increasing soil bulk density. Plant community biomass had significant positive correlations with the contents of soil nutrients and moisture, and the increase of the above- and below-ground biomass of plant communities promoted the increase of soil nutrient contents.

  6. Plant sterol consumption frequency affects plasma lipid levels and cholesterol kinetics in humans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background/Objectives: To compare the efficacy of single versus multiple doses of plant sterols on circulating lipid level and cholesterol trafficking. Subjects/Methods: A randomized, placebo-controlled, three-phase (6 days/phase) crossover, supervised feeding trial was conducted in 19 subjects. Sub...

  7. Plant radiation history affects community assembly: evidence from the New Zealand alpine.

    PubMed

    Lee, William G; Tanentzap, Andrew J; Heenan, Peter B

    2012-08-23

    The hypothesis that early plant radiations on islands dampen diversification and reduce habitat occupancy of later radiations via niche pre-emption has never, to our knowledge, been tested. We investigated clade-level dynamics in plant radiations in the alpine zone, New Zealand. Our aim was to determine whether radiations from older colonizations influenced diversification and community dominance of species from later colonizations within a common bioclimatic zone over the past ca 10 Myr. We used stem ages derived from the phylogenies of 17 genera represented in alpine plant communities in the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland, and assessed their presence and cover in 262 (5 × 5 m) vegetation plots. Our results show clear age-related community assembly effects, whereby congenerics from older colonizing genera co-occur more frequently and with greater cover per unit area than those from younger colonizing genera. However, we find no evidence of increased species richness with age of colonization in the alpine zone. The data support priority effects via niche pre-emption among plant radiations influencing community assembly.

  8. Molecular analyses of nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions affecting plant growth and yield. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Newton, K.J.

    1998-11-01

    Mitochondria have a central role in the production of cellular energy. The biogenesis and functioning of mitochondria depends on the expression of both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. One approach to investigating the role of nuclear-mitochondrial cooperation in plant growth and development is to identify combinations of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes that result in altered but sublethal phenotypes. Plants that have certain maize nuclear genotypes in combination with cytoplasmic genomes from more distantly-related teosintes can exhibit incompatible phenotypes, such as reduced plant growth and yield and cytoplasmic male sterility, as well as altered mitochondrial gene expression. The characterization of these nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions was the focus of this grant. The authors were investigating the effects of two maize nuclear genes, RcmI and Mct, on mitochondrial function and gene expression. Plants with the teosinte cytoplasms and homozygous for the recessive rcm allele are small (miniature) and-slow-growing and the kernels are reduced in size. The authors mapped this locus to molecular markers on chromosome 7 and attempted to clone this locus by transposon tagging. The effects of the nuclear-cytoplasmic interaction on mitochondrial function and mitochondrial protein profiles were also studied.

  9. Do varying aquatic plant species affect phytoplankton and crustacean responses to a nitrogen-permethrin mixture?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hydraulically connected wetland microcosms vegetated with either Typha latifolia or Myriophyllum aquaticum were amended with an NH4NO3 and permethrin mixture to assess the effectiveness of both plant species in mitigating ecological effects of the pollutant mixture on phytoplankton (as chlorophyll a...

  10. Mercury Concentrations in Plant Tissues as Affected by FGDG Application to Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum (FGDG) is produced by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from themo-electric coal-fired power plants. The most common practice of FGDG production may trap some of the Mercury (Hg) present in the coal that normally would escape as vapor in the stack gases. Concern for t...

  11. Desiccation of sediments affects assimilate transport within aquatic plants and carbon transfer to microorganisms.

    PubMed

    von Rein, I; Kayler, Z E; Premke, K; Gessler, A

    2016-11-01

    With the projected increase in drought duration and intensity in future, small water bodies, and especially the terrestrial-aquatic interfaces, will be subjected to longer dry periods with desiccation of the sediment. Drought effects on the plant-sediment microorganism carbon continuum may disrupt the tight linkage between plants and microbes which governs sediment carbon and nutrient cycling, thus having a potential negative impact on carbon sequestration of small freshwater ecosystems. However, research on drought effects on the plant-sediment carbon transfer in aquatic ecosystems is scarce. We therefore exposed two emergent aquatic macrophytes, Phragmites australis and Typha latifolia, to a month-long summer drought in a mesocosm experiment. We followed the fate of carbon from leaves to sediment microbial communities with (13) CO2 pulse labelling and microbial phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. We found that drought reduced the total amount of carbon allocated to stem tissues but did not delay the transport. We also observed an increase in accumulation of (13) C-labelled sugars in roots and found a reduced incorporation of (13) C into the PLFAs of sediment microorganisms. Drought induced a switch in plant carbon allocation priorities, where stems received less new assimilates leading to reduced starch reserves whilst roots were prioritised with new assimilates, suggesting their use for osmoregulation. There were indications that the reduced carbon transfer from roots to microorganisms was due to the reduction of microbial activity via direct drought effects rather than to a decrease in root exudation or exudate availability.

  12. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders.

  13. Mid-South Soybean Yield and Net Returns as Affected by Plant Population and Row Spacing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Traditionally grown maturity group (MG) V and VI, and more recently adapted MG IV soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] cultivars, are subject to late-season drought conditions in the Midsouthern United States when planted in mid-May resulting in yield limitations. Thus, the use of earlier maturing culti...

  14. Will global warming affect soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides?

    PubMed

    Dowdall, M; Standring, W; Shaw, G; Strand, P

    2008-11-01

    Recent assessments of global climate/environmental change are reaching a consensus that global climate change is occurring but there is significant uncertainty over the likely magnitude of this change and its impacts. There is little doubt that all aspects of the natural environment will be impacted to some degree. Soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides has long been a significant topic in radioecology, both for the protection of humans and the environment from the effects of ionising radiation. Even after five decades of research considerable uncertainty exists as to the interplay of key environmental processes in controlling soil-plant transfer. As many of these processes are, to a lesser or greater extent, climate-dependent, it can be argued that climate/environmental change will impact soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides and subsequent transfers in specific environments. This discussion attempts to highlight the possible role of climatic and climate-dependent variables in soil-to-plant transfer processes within the overall predictions of climate/environmental change. The work is speculative, and intended to stimulate debate on a theme that radioecology has either ignored or avoided in recent years.

  15. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Murdock, Larry L

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant-insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology.

  16. Drying and storage methods affect cyfluthrin concentrations in exposed plant samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Standard procedures exist for collection and chemical analyses of pyrethroid insecticides in environmental matrices. However, less detail is given for drying and potential storage methods of plant samples prior to analyses. Due to equipment and financial limitations, immediate sample analysis is n...

  17. Artificial elevation of glutathione affects symptom development in ZYMV-infected Cucurbita pepo L. plants.

    PubMed

    Zechmann, B; Zellnig, G; Urbanek-Krajnc, A; Müller, M

    2007-01-01

    Styrian oil pumpkin seedlings (Cucurbita pepo L. subsp. pepo var. styriaca GREB: .) were treated for 48 h with 1 mM OTC (L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid) in order to artificially increase cellular glutathione content. They were inoculated with zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) 10 days later. The effects of OTC treatment and ZYMV infection on glutathione levels were examined at the subcellular level by immunogold labeling of glutathione using a transmission electron microscope (TEM). These effects were further tested at the whole-tissue level by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Such tests were carried out a) on roots, cotyledons and the first true leaves immediately after OTC treatment in order to analyze to which extent OTC increases glutathione levels in different cell compartments as well as in the whole organ; and b) in older and younger leaves and in roots three weeks after ZYMV inoculation in order to study how possible effects of OTC on symptom development would correlate with glutathione levels at the subcellular level and in the whole organ. Immunocytological and biochemical investigations revealed that, 48 h after OTC treatment, glutathione content had increased in all investigated organs, up to 144% in peroxisomes of cotyledons. Three weeks after ZYMV inoculation, glutathione labeling density had significantly increased within intact cells of infected leaves, up to 124% in the cytosol of younger leaves. Roots showed decreased amounts of glutathione in the TEM. Biochemical studies revealed that OTC treatment resulted in 41 and 51% higher glutathione content in older and younger ZYMV-infected leaves, respectively, in comparison to untreated and ZYMV-infected plants. Evaluation of symptom development at this point revealed that all untreated ZYMV-infected plants had symptoms, whereas only 42% of OTC-treated ZYMV-infected plants showed signs of symptoms. Quantification of ZYMV particles revealed that all organs of OTC-treated and ZYMV

  18. Atmospheric CO2 level affects plants' carbon use efficiency: insights from a 13C labeling experiment on sunflower stands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Xiaoying; Schäufele, Rudi; Schnyder, Hans

    2015-04-01

    The increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration has been shown to stimulate plant photosynthesis and (to a lesser extent) growth, thereby acting as a possible sink for the additional atmospheric CO2. However, this effect is dependent on the efficiency with which plants convert atmospheric carbon into biomass carbon, since a considerable proportion of assimilated carbon is returned to the atmosphere via plant respiration. As a core parameter for carbon cycling, carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE, the ratio of net primary production to gross primary production) quantifies the proportion of assimilated carbon that is incorporated into plant biomass. CUE has rarely been assessed based on measurements of complete carbon balance, due to methodological difficulties in measuring respiration rate of plants in light. Moreover, foliar respiration is known to be inhibited in light, thus foliar respiration rate is generally lower in light than in dark. However, this phenomenon, termed as inhibition of respiration in light (IRL), has rarely been assessed at the stand-scale and been incorporated into the calculation of CUE. Therefore, how CUE responses to atmospheric CO2 levels is still not clear. We studied CUE of sunflower stands grown at sub-ambient CO2 level (200 μmol mol-1) and elevated CO2 level (1000 μmol mol-1) using mesocosm-scale gas exchange facilities which enabled continuous measurements of 13CO2/12CO2 exchange. Appling steady-state 13C labeling, fluxes of respiration and photosynthesis in light were separated, and tracer kinetic in respiration was analyzed. This study provides the first data on CUE at a mesocosm-level including respiration in light in different CO2 environments. We found that CUE of sunflower was lower at an elevated CO2 level than at a sub-ambient CO2 level; and the ignorance of IRL lead to erroneous estimations of CUE. Variation in CUE at atmospheric CO2 levels was attributed to several mechanisms. In this study, CO2 enrichment i) affected the

  19. Exogenous NO depletes Cd-induced toxicity by eliminating oxidative damage, re-establishing ATPase activity, and maintaining stress-related hormone equilibrium in white clover plants.

    PubMed

    Liu, S L; Yang, R J; Pan, Y Z; Wang, M H; Zhao, Y; Wu, M X; Hu, J; Zhang, L L; Ma, M D

    2015-11-01

    Various nitric oxide (NO) regulators [including the NO donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP), the NO scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (cPTIO), the NO-synthase inhibitor N (G)-nitro-L-Arg-methyl ester (L-NAME), and the SNP analogues sodium nitrite/nitrate and sodium ferrocyanide] were investigated to elucidate the role of NO in white clover (Trifolium repens L.) plants after long-term (5 days) exposure to cadmium (Cd). A dose of 100 μM Cd stress significantly restrained plant growth and decreased the concentrations of chlorophyll and NO in vivo, whereas it disrupted the balance of stress-related hormones and enhanced the accumulation of Cd, thereby inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst. However, the inhibition of plant growth was relieved by 50 μM SNP through its stimulation of ROS-scavenging compounds (ascorbic acid, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, glutathione reductase, non-protein thiol, superoxide dismutase, and total glutathione), regulation of H(+)-ATPase activity of proton pumps, and increasing jasmonic acid and proline but decreasing ethylene in plant tissues. Even so, the alleviating effect of SNP on plant growth was counteracted by cPTIO and L-NAME and was not observed with SNP analogues, suggesting that the protective roles of SNP are related to the induction of NO. These results suggest that NO may improve the Cd tolerance of white clover plants by eliminating oxidative damage, re-establishing ATPase activity, and maintaining hormone equilibrium. Improving our understanding of the role of NO in white clover plants is key to expanding the plantations to various regions and the recovery of pasture species in the future.

  20. The town Crepis and the country Crepis: How does fragmentation affect a plant-pollinator interaction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrieu, Emilie; Dornier, Antoine; Rouifed, Soraya; Schatz, Bertrand; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2009-01-01

    In fragmented habitats, one cause of the decrease of plant diversity and abundance is the disruption of plant-animal interactions, and in particular plant-pollinator interactions. Since habitat fragmentation acts both on pollinator behaviour and plant reproduction, its consequences for the stability of such interactions are complex. An extreme case of habitat fragmentation occurs in urbanised areas where suitable habitat (in the present study small patches around ornamental trees) is embedded in a highly unsuitable environment (concrete matrix). Based on simple experiments, we ask whether pollinators can adapt their foraging behaviour in response to the amount of available resources (flowers) in the fragments and their isolation, as predicted by the optimal foraging theory. To do so we analysed the effect of fragmentation on the behaviour of pollinators visiting Crepis sancta (L.) Bornm. (Asteraceae), which forms large populations in the countryside and patchy populations in urban environments. More precisely we studied pollinator visitation rates, capitulum visit durations, capitulum search durations and capitulum size choice. Pollinators chose larger capitula in both types of populations and their foraging behaviour differed between the two population types in three ways: (1) pollinator visits were lower in urban fragmented populations, perhaps due to the lower accessibility of urban patches; (2) capitulum visit durations were longer in urban fragmented populations, a possible compensation of energy lost during flights among patches; and (3) capitulum search durations where longer in urban fragmented populations, which may represent an increase in capitulum prospecting effort. We discuss the possible impacts of such differences for plant population functioning in the two types of populations.

  1. Environmental Growth Conditions of Trichoderma spp. Affects Indole Acetic Acid Derivatives, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Plant Growth Promotion

    PubMed Central

    Nieto-Jacobo, Maria F.; Steyaert, Johanna M.; Salazar-Badillo, Fatima B.; Nguyen, Dianne Vi; Rostás, Michael; Braithwaite, Mark; De Souza, Jorge T.; Jimenez-Bremont, Juan F.; Ohkura, Mana; Stewart, Alison

    2017-01-01

    Trichoderma species are soil-borne filamentous fungi widely utilized for their many plant health benefits, such as conferring improved growth, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance to their hosts. Many Trichoderma species are able to produce the auxin phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and its production has been suggested to promote root growth. Here we show that the production of IAA is strain dependent and diverse external stimuli are associated with its production. In in vitro assays, Arabidopsis primary root length was negatively affected by the interaction with some Trichoderma strains. In soil experiments, a continuum effect on plant growth was shown and this was also strain dependent. In plate assays, some strains of Trichoderma spp. inhibited the expression of the auxin reporter gene DR5 in Arabidopsis primary roots but not secondary roots. When Trichoderma spp. and A. thaliana were physically separated, enhancement of both shoot and root biomass, increased root production and chlorophyll content were observed, which strongly suggested that volatile production by the fungus influenced the parameters analyzed. Trichoderma strains T. virens Gv29.8, T. atroviride IMI206040, T. sp. “atroviride B” LU132, and T. asperellum LU1370 were demonstrated to promote plant growth through volatile production. However, contrasting differences were observed with LU1370 which had a negative effect on plant growth in soil but a positive effect in plate assays. Altogether our results suggest that the mechanisms and molecules involved in plant growth promotion by Trichoderma spp. are multivariable and are affected by the environmental conditions. PMID:28232840

  2. Shifts in Plant Assemblages Reduce the Richness of Galling Insects Across Edge-Affected Habitats in the Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Souza, Danielle G; Santos, Jean C; Oliveira, Marcondes A; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2016-10-01

    Impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on specialist herbivores have been rarely addressed. Here we examine the structure of plant and galling insect assemblages in a fragmented landscape of the Atlantic forest to verify a potential impoverishment of these assemblages mediated by edge effects. Saplings and galling insects were recorded once within a 0.1-ha area at habitat level, covering forest interior stands, forest edges, and small fragments. A total of 1,769 saplings from 219 tree species were recorded across all three habitats, with differences in terms of sapling abundance and species richness. Additionally, edge-affected habitats exhibited reduced richness of both host-plant and galling insects at plot and habitat spatial scale. Attack levels also differed among forest types at habitat spatial scale (21.1% of attacked stems in forest interior, 12.4% in small fragments but only 8.5% in forest edges). Plot ordination resulted in three clearly segregated clusters: one formed by forest interior, one by small fragments, and another formed by edge plots. Finally, the indicator species analysis identified seven and one indicator plant species in forest interior and edge-affected habitats, respectively. Consequently, edge effects lead to formation of distinct taxonomic groups and also an impoverished assemblage of plants and galling insects at multiple spatial scales. The results of the present study indicate that fragmentation-related changes in plant assemblages can have a cascade effects on specialist herbivores. Accordingly, hyperfragmented landscapes may not be able to retain an expressive portion of tropical biodiversity.

  3. Modelling Plant and Soil Nitrogen Feedbacks Affecting Forest Carbon Gain at High CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMurtrie, R. E.; Norby, R. J.; Franklin, O.; Pepper, D. A.

    2007-12-01

    Short-term, direct effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations on plant carbon gain are relatively well understood. There is considerable uncertainty, however, about longer-term effects, which are influenced by various plant and ecosystem feedbacks. A key feedback in terrestrial ecosystems occurs through changes in plant carbon (C) allocation patterns. For instance, if high CO2 were to increase C allocation to roots, then plants may experience positive feedback through improved plant nutrition. A second type of feedback, associated with decomposition of soil-organic matter, may reduce soil-nutrient availability at high CO2. This paper will consider mechanistic models of both feedbacks. Effects of high CO2 on plant C allocation will be investigated using a simple model of forest net primary production (NPP) that incorporates the primary mechanisms of plant carbon and nitrogen (N) balance. The model called MATE (Model Any Terrestrial Ecosystem) includes an equation for annual C balance that depends on light- saturated photosynthetic rate and therefore on [CO2], and an equation for N balance incorporating an expression for N uptake as a function of root mass. The C-N model is applied to a Free Air CO2 Exchange (FACE) experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, USA, where closed-canopy, monoculture stands of the deciduous hardwood sweetgum ( Liquidambar styraciflua) have been growing at [CO2] of 375 and 550 ppm for ten years. Features of this experiment are that the annual NPP response to elevated CO2 has averaged approximately 25% over seven years, but that annual fine-root production has almost doubled on average, with especially large increases in later years of the experiment (Norby et al. 2006). The model provides a simple graphical approach for analysing effects of elevated CO2 and N supply on leaf/root/wood C allocation and productivity. It simulates increases in NPP and fine-root production at the ORNL FACE site that are consistent

  4. Effects of tannin-rich host plants on the infection and establishment of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora.

    PubMed

    Glazer, Itamar; Salame, Liora; Dvash, Levana; Muklada, Hussein; Azaizeh, Hassan; Mreny, Raghda; Markovics, Alex; Landau, SergeYan

    2015-06-01

    Parasitized animals can self-medicate. As ingested plant phenolics, mainly tannins, reduce strongyle nematode infections in mammalian herbivores. We investigated the effect of plant extracts known to be anthelmintic in vertebrate herbivores on the recovery of the parasitic entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora infecting African cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis). Nematode infective juveniles (IJs) were exposed to 0, 300, 900, 1200, 2400 ppm of Pistacia lentiscus L. (lentisk), Inula viscosa L. (strong-smelling inula), Quercus calliprinos Decne. (common oak) and Ceratonia siliqua L. (carob) extracts on growth medium (in vitro assay). In control treatments, 50-80% of IJs resumed development to J4, young and developed adult hermaphrodites, whereas all extracts, except for C. siliqua at 300 ppm, impaired IJ exsheathment and development. The highest concentration of I. viscosa extract (2400 ppm) had the strongest effect, killing 95% of exposed nematodes. Surviving nematodes did not recover, remaining at the IJ stage. Over the whole cycle, I. viscosa extract inhibited recovery to 25% or less, and did not allow full development to adulthood, whereas 65% of IJs in the control treatment recovered and resumed development, 12% reaching complete maturation within 72 h of incubation. When herbivorous S. littoralis larvae were fed with different plant extracts in vivo, I. viscosa had the strongest effect at concentrations above 300 ppm, with 90% of insect-invading IJs not developing to parasitic stages, whereas in the control treatment, 85% of IJs resumed development. Exposure to C. siliqua extract also inhibited exsheathment and development of 75% of the IJs. Half of those that resumed development reached full maturation. P. lentiscus and Q. calliprinos extracts also inhibited development of 50% IJs. Our results suggest that H. bacteriophora can be used to study herbal medication against parasites in animals.

  5. Sweetgum and broomsedge response to competition across a range of soil organic matter during the first year of plant establishment

    SciTech Connect

    Zutter, B.R.; Glover, G.R.; Mitchell, R.J.; Gjerstad, D.H.

    1999-08-01

    Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) seedlings and broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus L.) rooted tillers were planted in a factorial combination of densities in east central Alabama on a formerly cultivated field which varied in soil organic matter (soil OM). Mean plant aboveground biomass of sweetgum one growing season after planting declined in a hyperbolic fashion as a function of increasing density of either itself or broomsedge. Broomsedge biomass over the same time period also declined in a hyperbolic fashion as a function of increasing density of itself and sweetgum, except for sweetgum densities from 0 to 1 m{sup {minus}2}, where biomass did not change. Sweetgum response was positively correlated with soil OM across all species-density combinations, whereas broomsedge response was correlated with soil OM only at higher densities of broomsedge. Nonlinear models including both species density and sol OM explained a nearly equal amount of variation in response of each species: 74 to 75% for sweetgum and 70% for broomsedge. Relative effects of intraspecific versus interspecific competition on the response of each species was dependent on the density of one or both species. Effect of sweetgum on broomsedge response was two to three times that of broomsedge of itself, with the effect decreasing slightly as soil OM decreased. Over a common range of densities of each species, effects of broomsedge or sweetgum were slightly greater than or nearly equal to effects of sweetgum on itself. The greater interspecific effects on the response of each species suggests no niche differentiation between broomsedge and sweetgum through one growing season.

  6. Using Novel Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) with Optimized Sensor Model to Determine How Establishments Will Be Affected in a 7.0 Hayward Earthquake Scenario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munnangi, P.

    2015-12-01

    The Bay Area is one of the world's most vulnerable places to earthquakes, and being ready is vital to survival. The purpose of this study was to determine the distribution of places affected in a 7.0 Hayward Earthquake and the effectiveness of earthquake early warning (EEW) in this scenario. We manipulated three variables: the location of the epicenter, the station placement, and algorithm used for early warning. To compute the blind zone and warning times, we calculated the P and S wave velocities by using data from the Northern California Earthquake Catalog and the radius of the blind zone using appropriate statistical models. We came up with a linear regression model directly relating warning time and distance from the epicenter. We used Google Earth to plot three hypothetical epicenters on the Hayward Fault and determine which establishments would be affected. By varying the locations, the blind zones and warning times changed. As the radius from the epicenter increased, the warning times also increased. The intensity decreased as the distance from the epicenter grew. We determined which cities were most vulnerable. We came up with a list of cities and their predicted warning times in this hypothetical scenario. For example, for the epicenter in northern Hayward, the cities at most risk were San Pablo, Richmond, and surrounding cities, while the cities at least risk were Gilroy, Modesto, Lincoln, and other cities within that radius. To find optimal station placement, we chose two cities with stations placed variable distances apart from each other. There was more variability in scattered stations than dense stations, suggesting stations placed closer together are more effective since they provide precise warnings. We compared the algorithms ElarmS, which is currently used in the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) and Onsite, which is a single-sensor approach that uses one to two stations, by calculating the blind zone and warning times for each

  7. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precipitation is anticipated to vary greatly under global climate change. However, little is known about the role of precipitation in shaping weed invasion of established grassland ecosystems. Here, we explored how weed invasion was influenced by precipitation and how this pattern was modified by ...

  8. Allelochemical Control of Non-Indigenous Invasive Plant Species Affecting Military Testing and Training Activities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-10-01

    seedheads). However, attack rates by the weevil Larinus minutus were actually higher on sprayed plants (infesting 88% of insecticide and 72% of...at Fort McCoy, WI over time to the main treatment effects of seed mix, activated carbon (AC), and insecticide (p-values in bold are significant at α...WI over time to the main effects of seed mix treatment, activated carbon (AC) treatment, and insecticide treatment. Those p-values in bold are

  9. Establishment of a viable population of red-cockaded woodpeckers at the Savannah River Plant: Progress report, 1985 through 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, D.H.; Lennartz, M.R.

    1988-12-06

    In 1985 the Southeastern Forest Experiment Station (SEFES) in cooperation with the Department of Energy began research on the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) at the Savannah River Plant (SRP). In early 1986 there were four RCW's on the SRP, including one pair in colony 19 and solitary males in colonies 5 and 16. Because of the decline in past years, it was deemed necessary to bring in birds from outside the plant to augment the local RCW population. In the next two years, translocations and local reproduction increased the population to 14 birds and the number of breeding clans from one to three. Although only two clans bred and fledged young in 1988, the population remains at 14 birds and has expanded to occupy five colony sites. Research and management activities implemented or continued over the past year include: translocations of birds within the SRP and from the Francis Marion National Forest (FMNF) to SRP, herbicide, burning and thinning for hardwood control and increased diameter growth of pines, the removal of flying squirrels from active colonies, and the installation of nest boxes, RCW artificial cavities and metal restrictors to reduce competition from other species.

  10. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus

    PubMed Central

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Murdock, Larry L.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant–insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology. PMID:27594789

  11. Storage behavior of mango as affected by post harvest application of plant extracts and storage conditions.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Nisha; Jain, S K

    2014-10-01

    The use of plant extracts could be a useful alternative to synthetic fungicides in the post harvest handling of fruits and vegetables. The aim of this study was to access the efficacy of extracts obtained from four plants (neem, Pongamia, custard apple leaf and marigold flowers) on the extension of shelf life of mango fruits cv. Dashehri under two storage conditions (Cool store and ambient condition). The fruits were treated with 2 concentrations of each plant extracts (10 % and 20 %) were placed in perforated linear low density poly ethylene bags and stored in storage conditions viz., cool storage and ambient condition, respectively. The treatment of neem leaf extract in combination with cool storage gave encouraging results. Up to the end of the storage study the treatment combination of 20 % neem leaf extract and cool store completely inhibited the pathogens, and no spoilage was observed. There was minimum physiological loss in weight (6.24 %), minimum girth reduction (0.62 %), maximum ascorbic acid content (29.96 mg/ 100 g of pulp), maximum acidity (0.19 %), minimum pH (5.28), maximum total soluble solids (20.96 %), maximum total sugars (12.50 %), reducing sugars (4.12 %) and non- reducing sugars (7.96 %) and best organoleptic score (7.93/10) in this interaction. The inhibitory effect of neem leaf extract was ascribed to the presence of active principle azadirachtin.

  12. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P; Tringe, Susannah G

    2016-01-01

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions.

  13. Altered sucrose synthase and invertase expression affects the local and systemic sugar metabolism of nematode-infected Arabidopsis thaliana plants.

    PubMed

    Cabello, Susana; Lorenz, Cindy; Crespo, Sara; Cabrera, Javier; Ludwig, Roland; Escobar, Carolina; Hofmann, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Sedentary endoparasitic nematodes of plants induce highly specific feeding cells in the root central cylinder. From these, the obligate parasites withdraw all required nutrients. The feeding cells were described as sink tissues in the plant's circulation system that are supplied with phloem-derived solutes such as sugars. Currently, there are several publications describing mechanisms of sugar import into the feeding cells. However, sugar processing has not been studied so far. Thus, in the present work, the roles of the sucrose-cleaving enzymes sucrose synthases (SUS) and invertases (INV) in the development of Heterodera schachtii were studied. Gene expression analyses indicate that both enzymes are regulated transcriptionally. Nematode development was enhanced on multiple INV and SUS mutants. Syncytia of these mutants were characterized by altered enzyme activity and changing sugar pool sizes. Further, the analyses revealed systemically affected sugar levels and enzyme activities in the shoots of the tested mutants, suggesting changes in the source-sink relationship. Finally, the development of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica was studied in different INV and SUS mutants and wild-type Arabidopsis plants. Similar effects on the development of both sedentary endoparasitic nematode species (root-knot and cyst nematode) were observed, suggesting a more general role of sucrose-degrading enzymes during plant-nematode interactions.

  14. Oribatida (Acari) in grassy arable fallows are more affected by soil properties than habitat age and plant species.

    PubMed

    Wissuwa, Janet; Salamon, Jörg-Alfred; Frank, Thomas

    2013-11-01

    Oribatid mites are one of the numerically dominant arthropod groups in soils. They play an important role in soil food webs via regulating the decomposition of organic matter and propagating microorganisms within the soil. To our knowledge, the influence of different plant functional groups on oribatid mites has not been studied in abandoned farmland with undisturbed succession before. The density and assemblage structure of oribatid mites in nine grassy arable fallows relative to three habitat age classes (2-3, 6-8, 12-15 years) and three selected plant species (legume: Medicago sativa, forb: Taraxacum officinale, grass: Bromus sterilis) were investigated in soil associated with single plants. Mite density declined marginally not significant with habitat age because of high abundances of the ubiquitous species Tectocepheus velatus sarekensis and Punctoribates punctum in young and mid-aged fallows and their subsequent decline in old fallows. Oribatid mite density and species assemblage were not affected by plant species. Only P. punctum had significantly higher densities in B. sterilis samples than in T. officinale samples due to a higher amount of fine roots. Distance-based linear models revealed that 65% of the variation in mite assemblage was explained by soil properties, soil type, exposition and geographic position, while habitat age was of minor importance. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that the mite assemblage was best explained by soil organic and microbial carbon, water content and pH.

  15. Contamination of soil, medicinal, and fodder plants with lead and cadmium present in mine-affected areas, Northern Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Qamar, Zahir; Din, Islamud; Mahmood, Qaisar; Gul, Nayab; Huang, Qing

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) concentrations in the soil and plants (medicinal and fodder) grown in chromite mining-affected areas, Northern Pakistan. Soil and plant samples were collected and analyzed for Pb and Cd concentrations using atomic absorption spectrometer. Soil pollution load indices (PLIs) were greater than 2 for both Cd and Pb, indicating high level of contamination in the study area. Furthermore, Cd concentrations in the soil surrounding the mining sites exceeded the maximum allowable limit (MAL) (0.6 mg kg(-1)), while the concentrations of Pb were lower than the MAL (350 mg kg(-1)) set by State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) for agriculture soil. The concentrations of Cd and Pb were significantly higher (P < 0.001) in the soil of the mining-contaminated sites as compared to the reference site, which can be attributed to the dispersion of toxic heavy metals, present in the bed rocks and waste of the mines. The concentrations of Pb and Cd in majority of medicinal and fodder plant species grown in surrounding areas of mines were higher than their MALs set by World Health Organization/Food Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO) for herbal (10 and 0.3 mg kg(-1), respectively) and edible (0.3 and 0.2 mg kg(-1), respectively) plants. The high concentrations of Cd and Pb may cause contamination of the food chain and health risk.

  16. Oribatida (Acari) in grassy arable fallows are more affected by soil properties than habitat age and plant species☆

    PubMed Central

    Wissuwa, Janet; Salamon, Jörg-Alfred; Frank, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Oribatid mites are one of the numerically dominant arthropod groups in soils. They play an important role in soil food webs via regulating the decomposition of organic matter and propagating microorganisms within the soil. To our knowledge, the influence of different plant functional groups on oribatid mites has not been studied in abandoned farmland with undisturbed succession before. The density and assemblage structure of oribatid mites in nine grassy arable fallows relative to three habitat age classes (2–3, 6–8, 12–15 years) and three selected plant species (legume: Medicago sativa, forb: Taraxacum officinale, grass: Bromus sterilis) were investigated in soil associated with single plants. Mite density declined marginally not significant with habitat age because of high abundances of the ubiquitous species Tectocepheus velatus sarekensis and Punctoribates punctum in young and mid-aged fallows and their subsequent decline in old fallows. Oribatid mite density and species assemblage were not affected by plant species. Only P. punctum had significantly higher densities in B. sterilis samples than in T. officinale samples due to a higher amount of fine roots. Distance-based linear models revealed that 65% of the variation in mite assemblage was explained by soil properties, soil type, exposition and geographic position, while habitat age was of minor importance. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that the mite assemblage was best explained by soil organic and microbial carbon, water content and pH. PMID:26109839

  17. Methods and concepts in quantifying resistance to drought, salt and freezing, abiotic stresses that affect plant water status.

    PubMed

    Verslues, Paul E; Agarwal, Manu; Katiyar-Agarwal, Surekha; Zhu, Jianhua; Zhu, Jian-Kang

    2006-02-01

    The abiotic stresses of drought, salinity and freezing are linked by the fact that they all decrease the availability of water to plant cells. This decreased availability of water is quantified as a decrease in water potential. Plants resist low water potential and related stresses by modifying water uptake and loss to avoid low water potential, accumulating solutes and modifying the properties of cell walls to avoid the dehydration induced by low water potential and using protective proteins and mechanisms to tolerate reduced water content by preventing or repairing cell damage. Salt stress also alters plant ion homeostasis, and under many conditions this may be the predominant factor affecting plant performance. Our emphasis is on experiments that quantify resistance to realistic and reproducible low water potential (drought), salt and freezing stresses while being suitable for genetic studies where a large number of lines must be analyzed. Detailed protocols for the use of polyethylene glycol-infused agar plates to impose low water potential stress, assay of salt tolerance based on root elongation, quantification of freezing tolerance and the use of electrolyte leakage experiments to quantify cellular damage induced by freezing and low water potential are also presented.

  18. Establishment of a database of emission factors for atmospheric pollutants from Chinese coal-fired power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yu; Wang, Shuxiao; Nielsen, Chris P.; Li, Xinghua; Hao, Jiming

    2010-04-01

    Field measurements and data investigations were conducted for developing an emission factor database for inventories of atmospheric pollutants from Chinese coal-fired power plants. Gaseous pollutants and particulate matter (PM) of different size fractions were measured using a gas analyzer and an electric low-pressure impactor (ELPI), respectively, for ten units in eight coal-fired power plants across the country. Combining results of field tests and literature surveys, emission factors with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by boiler type, fuel quality, and emission control devices using bootstrap and Monte Carlo simulations. The emission factor of uncontrolled SO 2 from pulverized combustion (PC) boilers burning bituminous or anthracite coal was estimated to be 18.0S kg t -1 (i.e., 18.0 × the percentage sulfur content of coal, S) with a 95% CI of 17.2S-18.5S. NO X emission factors for pulverized-coal boilers ranged from 4.0 to 11.2 kg t -1, with uncertainties of 14-45% for different unit types. The emission factors of uncontrolled PM 2.5, PM 10, and total PM emitted by PC boilers were estimated to be 0.4A (where A is the percentage ash content of coal), 1.5A and 6.9A kg t -1, respectively, with 95% CIs of 0.3A-0.5A, 1.1A-1.9A and 5.8A-7.9A. The analogous PM values for emissions with electrostatic precipitator (ESP) controls were 0.032A (95% CI: 0.021A-0.046A), 0.065A (0.039A-0.092A) and 0.094A (0.0656A-0.132A) kg t -1, and 0.0147A (0.0092-0.0225A), 0.0210A (0.0129A-0.0317A), and 0.0231A (0.0142A-0.0348A) for those with both ESP and wet flue-gas desulfurization (wet-FGD). SO 2 and NO X emission factors for Chinese power plants were smaller than those of U.S. EPA AP-42 database, due mainly to lower heating values of coals in China. PM emission factors for units with ESP, however, were generally larger than AP-42 values, because of poorer removal efficiencies of Chinese dust collectors. For units with advanced emission control technologies, more field

  19. Site-specific success of three transplanting methods and the effect of planting time on the establishment of Zostera marina transplants.

    PubMed

    Park, Jung-Im; Lee, Kun-Seop

    2007-08-01

    Eelgrass, Zostera marina, is the most abundant seagrass species on the coast of Korea, but most large eelgrass meadows have disappeared since the 1970s due to human-induced disturbance. To restore disturbed seagrass habitats in die-off areas, seagrass transplanting has been attempted using various methods. Here, we assessed the feasibility and efficiency of seagrass transplanting methods depending on the sediment type at the planting site. Additionally, the effect of planting time on the establishment of transplant was examined to determine the optimal season for planting. We conducted an eelgrass transplanting experiment from fall 2003 to summer 2004 at three sites with different sediment types using three planting techniques. The staple method resulted in the highest transplant survival rate (77.1-93.8%) at all three sites, but was labor intensive. Transplanting Eelgrass Remotely with Frame Systems (TERFS) method also resulted in relatively a high survival rate (58.7-69.0%) at all sites. The shell method is a newer eelgrass transplanting method in which oyster shells are used as an anchoring device, and does not require SCUBA diving for subtidal transplanting. The shell method resulted in high survival rates in muddy (81.3%) and silty sediments (76.5%), but remarkably low survival rate in sandy sediments (5.0%). The TERFS, and shell methods reduced underwater labor; thus, these methods is suitable for large-scale seagrass restoration. Eelgrass transplants planted in summer had exhibited significant mortality due to high summer water temperatures. Although transplants planted in fall to spring had relatively high survival rates, transplanting and collection of vegetative shoots are difficult in winter and spring. Therefore, fall was suggested as the most effective transplanting season off the coast of Korea.

  20. The community structure of endophytic bacteria in different parts of Huanglongbing-affected citrus plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The analyses methods of Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC), hierarchical cluster analysis and diversity index were used to study the relevance between citrus huanglongbing (HLB) and the endophytic bacteria in different branches and leaves as well as roots of huanglongbing (HLB)-affected citrus tr...

  1. Solubility and Plant Availability of Nutrients as Affected by Soil Drainage Conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corn growth is affected due to oxygen deficiency and root death in a perched water table (PWT). The study objective was to evaluate a surface application of FGD gypsum (FGDG) and glyphosate (GLY) on nutrient uptake in corn with different drainage conditions. The experiment was conducted in greenhous...

  2. Water temperature differences by plant community and location in re-established wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, July 2005 to February 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crepeau, Kathryn L.; Miller, Robin L.

    2014-01-01

    Rates of carbon storage in wetlands are determined by the balance of its inputs and losses, both of which are affected by environmental factors such as water temperature and depth. In the autumn of 1997, the U.S. Geological Survey re-established two wetlands with different shallow water depths—about 25 and 55 centimeters deep—to investigate the potential to reverse subsidence of delta islands by preserving and accumulating organic substrates derived from plant biomass inputs over time. Because cooler water temperatures can slow decomposition rates and increase accretion of plant biomass, water temperature was recorded from July 2005 to February 2008 in the deeper of the two wetlands, where areas of emergent and submerged vegetation persisted throughout the study, to assess differences in water temperature between the two vegetation types. Water temperature was compared at three depths in the water column between areas of emergent and submerged vegetation and between areas near the water inflow and in the wetland interior in both vegetation types. The latter comparison was a way of evaluating the effect of the length of time water had resided in the wetland on water temperatures. There were statistically significant differences in water temperature at all depths between the two vegetation types. Overall, in areas of emergent marsh vegetation, the mean water temperature at the surface was 1.4 degrees Celsius (°C) less than it was in areas of submerged vegetation; however, when analyses accounted for the changes in temperature due to seasonal and diurnal cycles, differences in the mean water temperature between the vegetation types were even greater than this. For example, in the spring, the mean temperatures in areas of emergent marsh vegetation at the surface, mid-point, and near the sediment in the water column were 2.0, 2.3, and 2.1 °C less, respectively, than water temperatures in areas of submerged vegetation. When diurnal changes in temperature were

  3. Characterising microbial protein test substances and establishing their equivalence with plant-produced proteins for use in risk assessments of transgenic crops.

    PubMed

    Raybould, Alan; Kilby, Peter; Graser, Gerson

    2013-04-01

    Most commercial transgenic crops are genetically engineered to produce new proteins. Studies to assess the risks to human and animal health, and to the environment, from the use of these crops require grams of the transgenic proteins. It is often extremely difficult to produce sufficient purified transgenic protein from the crop. Nevertheless, ample protein of acceptable purity may be produced by over-expressing the protein in microbes such as Escherichia coli. When using microbial proteins in a study for risk assessment, it is essential that their suitability as surrogates for the plant-produced transgenic proteins is established; that is, the proteins are equivalent for the purposes of the study. Equivalence does not imply that the plant and microbial proteins are identical, but that the microbial protein is sufficiently similar biochemically and functionally to the plant protein such that studies using the microbial protein provide reliable information for risk assessment of the transgenic crop. Equivalence is a judgement based on a weight of evidence from comparisons of relevant properties of the microbial and plant proteins, including activity, molecular weight, amino acid sequence, glycosylation and immuno-reactivity. We describe a typical set of methods used to compare proteins in regulatory risk assessments for transgenic crops, and discuss how risk assessors may use comparisons of proteins to judge equivalence.

  4. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  5. Initial Assessment of Sulfur-Iodine Process Safety Issues and How They May Affect Pilot Plant Design and Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Robert S. Cherry

    2006-09-01

    The sulfur-iodine process to make hydrogen by the thermochemical splitting of water is under active development as part of a U.S. Department of Energy program. An integrated lab scale system is currently being designed and built. The next planned stage of development is a pilot plant with a thermal input of about 500 kW, equivalent to about 30,000 standard liters per hour of hydrogen production. The sulfur-iodine process contains a variety of hazards, including temperatures up to 850 ºC and hazardous chemical species including SO2, H2SO4, HI, I2, and of course H2. The siting and design of a pilot plant must consider these and other hazards. This report presents an initial analysis of the hazards that might affect pilot plant design and should be considered in the initial planning. The general hazards that have been identified include reactivity, flammability, toxicity, pressure, electrical hazards, and industrial hazards such as lifting and rotating equipment. Personnel exposure to these hazards could occur during normal operations, which includes not only running the process at the design conditions but also initial inventory loading, heatup, startup, shutdown, and system flushing before equipment maintenance. Because of the complexity and severity of the process, these ancillary operations are expected to be performed frequently. In addition, personnel could be exposed to the hazards during various abnormal situations which could include unplanned phase changes of liquids or solids, leaks of process fluids or cooling water into other process streams, unintentional introducion of foreign species into the process, and unexpected side reactions. Design of a pilot plant will also be affected by various codes and regulations such as the International Building Code, the International Fire Code, various National Fire Protection Association Codes, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

  6. Factors Affecting the Extraction of Intact Ribonucleic Acid from Plant Tissues Containing Interfering Phenolic Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Newbury, H. John; Possingham, John V.

    1977-01-01

    Using conventional methods it is impossible to extract RNA as uncomplexed intact molecules from the leaves of grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) and from a number of woody perennial species that contain high levels of reactive phenolic compounds. A procedure involving the use of high concentrations of the chaotropic agent sodium perchlorate prevents the binding of phenolic compounds to RNA during extraction. Analyses of the phenolics present in plant tissues used in these experiments indicate that there is a poor correlation between the total phenolic content and the complexing of RNA. However, qualitative analyses suggest that proanthocyanidins are involved in the tanning of RNA during conventional extractions. PMID:16660134

  7. Within plant distribution of Potato Virus Y in hairy nightshade (Solanum sarrachoides): an inoculum source affecting PVY aphid transmission.

    PubMed

    Cervantes, Felix A; Alvarez, Juan M

    2011-08-01

    Potato virus Y (PVY) is vectored by several potato-colonizing and non-colonizing aphid species in a non-persistent manner and has a wide host range. It occurs naturally in several plant families. Myzus persicae and Macrosiphum euphorbiae are the most efficient potato-colonizing aphid vectors of PVY. Rhopalosiphum padi, a cereal aphid that migrates in large numbers through potato fields during the middle of the growing season, does not colonize potato plants but can transmit PVY. Hairy nightshade, Solanum sarrachoides, a prevalent annual solanaceous weed in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States, is an alternative host for PVY and a preferred host for M. persicae and M. euphorbiae. Hence, hairy nightshade plants might play an important role as an inoculum source in the epidemiology of PVY. We looked at titre accumulation and distribution of PVY(O), PVY(N:O) and PVY(NTN) in S. sarrachoides and potato after aphid inoculation with M. persicae and studied the transmission of PVY(O) and PVY(NTN), by M. persicae, M. euphorbiae and R. padi from hairy nightshade to potato plants. Virus titre at different positions on the plant was similar in S. sarrachoides and potato plants with strains PVY(O) and PVY(N:O). Titres of PVY(NTN) were similar in S. sarrachoides and potato but differences in titre were observed at different positions within the plant depending on the plant phenology. Percentage transmission of PVY(NTN) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was twice as high (46 and 34%, respectively) from hairy nightshade to potato than from potato to potato (20 and 14%). Percentage transmission of PVY(O) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was not affected by the inoculum source. No effect of the inoculum source was observed in the transmission of either PVY strain by R. padi. These results show that hairy nightshade may be an equal or better virus reservoir than potato and thus, important in the epidemiology of PVY.

  8. Site-Dependent Differences in DNA Methylation and Their Impact on Plant Establishment and Phosphorus Nutrition in Populus trichocarpa

    PubMed Central

    Schönberger, Brigitte; Chen, Xiaochao; Mager, Svenja

    2016-01-01

    The propagation via clonal stem cuttings is a frequent practice in tree plantations. Despite their clonal origin, the trees establish differently according to weather, temperature and nutrient availability, as well as the presence of various stresses. Here, clonal Populus trichocarpa (cv. Muhle Larson) cuttings from different sites were transferred into a common, fully nutrient supplied environment. Despite identical underlying genetics, stem cuttings derived from sites with lower phosphorus availability established worse, independent of phosphorus (P) level after transplantation. Differential growth of material from the sites was reflected in differences in the whole genome DNA methylome. Methylation differences were sequence context-dependent, but differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were apparently unrelated to P nutrition genes. Despite the undisputed negative general correlation of DNA promoter methylation with gene repression, only few of the top-ranked DMRs resulted in differential gene expression in roots or shoots. However, differential methylation was associated with site-dependent, different total amounts of microRNAs (miRNAs), with few miRNAs sequences directly targeted by differential methylation. Interestingly, in roots and shoots, the miRNA amount was dependent on the previous habitat and changed in roots in a habitat-dependent way under phosphate starvation conditions. Differentially methylated miRNAs, together with their target genes, showed P-dependent expression profiles, indicating miRNA expression differences as a P-related epigenetic modification in poplar. Together with differences in DNA methylation, such epigenetic mechanisms may explain habitat or seasonal memory in perennials and site-dependent growth performances. PMID:27992519

  9. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria affect the growth and nutrient uptake of Fraxinus americana container seedlings.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fangchun; Xing, Shangjun; Ma, Hailin; Du, Zhenyu; Ma, Bingyao

    2013-05-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are important catalysts that regulate the functional properties of agricultural systems. However, there is little information on the effect of PGPR inoculation on the growth and nutrient accumulation of forest container seedlings. This study determined the effects of a growth medium inoculated with PGPR on the nutrient uptake, nutrient accumulation, and growth of Fraxinus americana container seedlings. PGPR inoculation with fertilizer increased the dry matter accumulation of the F. americana aerial parts with delayed seedling emergence time. Under fertilized conditions, the accumulation time of phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) in the F. americana aerial parts was 13 days longer due to PGPR inoculation. PGPR increased the maximum daily P and K accumulations in fertilized seedlings by 9.31 and 10.44 %, respectively, but had little impact on unfertilized ones. Regardless of fertilizer application, the root exudates, namely sugars, amino acids, and organic acids significantly increased because of PGPR inoculation. PGPR inoculation with fertilizer increased the root, shoot, and leaf yields by 19.65, 22.94, and 19.44 %, respectively, as well as the P and K contents by 8.33 and 10.60 %, respectively. Consequently, the N, P, and K uptakes increased by 19.85, 31.97, and 33.95 %, respectively. Hence, PGPR inoculation with fertilizer can be used as a bioenhancer for plant growth and nutrient uptake in forest container seedling nurseries.

  10. Nature's amazing biopolymer: basic mechanical and hydrological properties of soil affected by plant exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Roose, Tiina; Raffan, Annette; George, Timothy; Bengough, Glyn; Brown, Lawrie; Keyes, Sam; Daly, Keith; Hallett, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Plant exudates are known to have a very large impact on soil physical properties through changes in mechanical and hydrological processes driven by long-chain polysaccharides and surface active compounds. Whilst these impacts are well known, the basic physical properties of these exudates have only been reported in a small number of studies. We present data for exudates obtained from barley roots and chia seeds, incorporating treatments examining biological decomposition of the exudates. When these exudates were added to a sandy loam soil, contact angle and drop penetration time increased exponentially with increasing exudate concentration. These wetting properties were strongly correlated with both exudate density and zero-shear viscosity, but not with exudate surface tension. Water holding capacity and water repellency of exudate mixed soil tremendously increased with exudate concentration, however they were significantly reduced on decomposition when measured after 14 days of incubation at 16C. Mechanical stability greatly increased with increasing exudate amendment to soils, which was assessed using a rheological amplitude sweep test near saturation, at -50 cm matric potential (field capacity) using indentation test, and at air-dry condition using the Brazilian test. This reflects that exudates not only attenuate plant water stress but also impart mechanical stability to the rhizosphere. These data are highly relevant to the understanding and modelling of rhizosphere development, which is the next phase of our research.

  11. Hydrologic alteration affects aquatic plant assemblages in an arid-land river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vinson, Mark; Hestmark, Bennett; Barkworth, Mary E.

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of long-term flow alteration on primary-producer assemblages. In 1962, Flaming Gorge Dam was constructed on the Green River. The Yampa River has remained an unregulated hydrologically variable river that joins the Green River 100 km downstream from Flaming Gorge Dam. In the 1960s before dam construction only sparse occurrences of two macroalgae, Cladophora and Chara, and no submerged vascular plants were recorded in the Green and Yampa rivers. In 2009–2010, aquatic plants were abundant and widespread in the Green River from the dam downstream to the confluence with the Yampa River. The assemblage consisted of six vascular species, Elodea canadensis, Myriophyllum sibiricum, Nasturtium officinale,Potamogeton crispus, Potamogeton pectinatus, and Ranunculus aquatilis, the macroalgae Chara and Cladophora, and the bryophyte, Amblystegium riparium. In the Green River downstream from the Yampa River, and in the Yampa River, only sparse patches of Chara and Cladophora growing in the splash zone on boulders were collected. We attribute the observed changes in the Green River to an increase in water transparency and a reduction in suspended and bed-load sediment and high flow disturbances. The lack of hydrophyte colonization downstream from the confluence with the Yampa River has implications for understanding tributary amelioration of dam effects and for designing more natural flow-regime schedules downstream from large dams.

  12. Interactions between Soil Habitat and Geographic Range Location Affect Plant Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Stanton-Geddes, John; Shaw, Ruth G.; Tiffin, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Populations are often found on different habitats at different geographic locations. This habitat shift may be due to biased dispersal, physiological tolerances or biotic interactions. To explore how fitness of the native plant Chamaecrista fasciculata depends on habitat within, at and beyond its range edge, we planted seeds from five populations in two soil substrates at these geographic locations. We found that with reduced competition, lifetime fitness was always greater or equivalent in one habitat type, loam soils, though early-season survival was greater on sand soils. At the range edge, natural populations are typically found on sand soil habitats, which are also less competitive environments. Early-season survival and fitness differed among source populations, and when transplanted beyond the range edge, range edge populations had greater fitness than interior populations. Our results indicate that even when the optimal soil substrate for a species does not change with geographic range location, the realized niche of a species may be restricted to sub-optimal habitats at the range edge because of the combined effects of differences in abiotic and biotic effects (e.g. competitors) between substrates. PMID:22615745

  13. Interactions between soil habitat and geographic range location affect plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Stanton-Geddes, John; Shaw, Ruth G; Tiffin, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Populations are often found on different habitats at different geographic locations. This habitat shift may be due to biased dispersal, physiological tolerances or biotic interactions. To explore how fitness of the native plant Chamaecrista fasciculata depends on habitat within, at and beyond its range edge, we planted seeds from five populations in two soil substrates at these geographic locations. We found that with reduced competition, lifetime fitness was always greater or equivalent in one habitat type, loam soils, though early-season survival was greater on sand soils. At the range edge, natural populations are typically found on sand soil habitats, which are also less competitive environments. Early-season survival and fitness differed among source populations, and when transplanted beyond the range edge, range edge populations had greater fitness than interior populations. Our results indicate that even when the optimal soil substrate for a species does not change with geographic range location, the realized niche of a species may be restricted to sub-optimal habitats at the range edge because of the combined effects of differences in abiotic and biotic effects (e.g. competitors) between substrates.

  14. Metal contaminated biochar and wood ash negatively affect plant growth and soil quality after land application.

    PubMed

    Jones, D L; Quilliam, R S

    2014-07-15

    Pyrolysis or combustion of waste wood can provide a renewable source of energy and produce byproducts which can be recycled back to land. To be sustainable requires that these byproducts pose minimal threat to the environment or human health. Frequently, reclaimed waste wood is contaminated by preservative-treated timber containing high levels of heavy metals. We investigated the effect of feedstock contamination from copper-preservative treated wood on the behaviour of pyrolysis-derived biochar and combustion-derived ash in plant-soil systems. Biochar and wood ash were applied to soil at typical agronomic rates. The presence of preservative treated timber in the feedstock increased available soil Cu; however, critical Cu guidance limits were only exceeded at high rates of feedstock contamination. Negative effects on plant growth and soil quality were only seen at high levels of biochar contamination (>50% derived from preservative-treated wood). Negative effects of wood ash contamination were apparent at lower levels of contamination (>10% derived from preservative treated wood). Complete removal of preservative treated timber from wood recycling facilities is notoriously difficult and low levels of contamination are commonplace. We conclude that low levels of contamination from Cu-treated wood should pose minimal environmental risk to biochar and ash destined for land application.

  15. Internal and external factors affecting photosynthetic pigment composition in plants: a meta-analytical approach.

    PubMed

    Esteban, Raquel; Barrutia, Oihana; Artetxe, Unai; Fernández-Marín, Beatriz; Hernández, Antonio; García-Plazaola, José Ignacio

    2015-04-01

    Photosynthetic pigment composition has been a major study target in plant ecophysiology during the last three decades. Although more than 2000 papers have been published, a comprehensive evaluation of the responses of photosynthetic pigment composition to environmental conditions is not yet available. After an extensive survey, we compiled data from 525 papers including 809 species (subkingdom Viridiplantae) in which pigment composition was described. A meta-analysis was then conducted to assess the ranges of photosynthetic pigment content. Calculated frequency distributions of pigments were compared with those expected from the theoretical pigment composition. Responses to environmental factors were also analysed. The results revealed that lutein and xanthophyll cycle pigments (VAZ) were highly responsive to the environment, emphasizing the high phenotypic plasticity of VAZ, whereas neoxanthin was very stable. The present meta-analysis supports the existence of relatively narrow limits for pigment ratios and also supports the presence of a pool of free 'unbound' VAZ. Results from this study provide highly reliable ranges of photosynthetic pigment contents as a framework for future research on plant pigments.

  16. Arabidopsis BPM proteins function as substrate adaptors to a cullin3-based E3 ligase to affect fatty acid metabolism in plants.

    PubMed

    Chen, Liyuan; Lee, Joo Hyun; Weber, Henriette; Tohge, Takayuki; Witt, Sandra; Roje, Sanja; Fernie, Alisdair R; Hellmann, Hanjo

    2013-06-01

    Regulation of transcriptional processes is a critical mechanism that enables efficient coordination of the synthesis of required proteins in response to environmental and cellular changes. Transcription factors require accurate activity regulation because they play a critical role as key mediators assuring specific expression of target genes. In this work, we show that cullin3-based E3 ligases have the potential to interact with a broad range of ethylene response factor (ERF)/APETALA2 (AP2) transcription factors, mediated by Math-BTB/POZ (for Meprin and TRAF [tumor necrosis factor receptor associated factor] homolog)-Broad complex, Tramtrack, Bric-a-brac/Pox virus and Zinc finger) proteins. The assembly with an E3 ligase causes degradation of their substrates via the 26S proteasome, as demonstrated for the wrinkled1 ERF/AP2 protein. Furthermore, loss of Math-BTB/POZ proteins widely affects plant development and causes altered fatty acid contents in mutant seeds. Overall, this work demonstrates a link between fatty acid metabolism and E3 ligase activities in plants and establishes CUL3-based E3 ligases as key regulators in transcriptional processes that involve ERF/AP2 family members.

  17. Camphene, a Plant Derived Monoterpene, Exerts Its Hypolipidemic Action by Affecting SREBP-1 and MTP Expression

    PubMed Central

    Vallianou, Ioanna; Hadzopoulou-Cladaras, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    The control of hyperlipidemia plays a central role in cardiovascular disease. Previously, we have shown that camphene, a constituent of mastic gum oil, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) in the plasma of hyperlipidemic rats without affecting HMG-CoA reductase activity, suggesting that its hypocholesterolemic and hypotriglyceridemic effects are associated with a mechanism of action different than that of statins. In the present study, we examine the mechanism by which camphene exerts its hypolipidemic action. We evaluated the effect of camphene on the de novo synthesis of cholesterol and TG from [14C]-acetate in HepG2 cells, along with the statin mevinolin. Camphene inhibited the biosynthesis of cholesterol in a concentration-dependent manner, and a maximal inhibition of 39% was observed at 100 μM while mevinolin nearly abolished cholesterol biosynthesis. Moreover, treatment with camphene reduced TG by 34% and increased apolipoprotein AI expression. In contrast, mevinolin increased TG by 26% and had a modest effect on apolipoprotein AI expression. To evaluate the mode of action of camphene, we examined its effects on the expression of SREBP-1, which affects TG biosynthesis and SREBP-2, which mostly affects sterol synthesis. Interestingly, camphene increased the nuclear translocation of the mature form of SREBP-1 while mevinolin was found to increase the amount of the mature form of SREBP-2. The effect of camphene is most likely regulated through SREBP-1 by affecting MTP levels in response to a decrease in the intracellular cholesterol. We propose that camphene upregulates SREBP-1 expression and MTP inhibition is likely to be a probable mechanism whereby camphene exerts its hypolipidemic effect. PMID:26784701

  18. Camphene, a Plant Derived Monoterpene, Exerts Its Hypolipidemic Action by Affecting SREBP-1 and MTP Expression.

    PubMed

    Vallianou, Ioanna; Hadzopoulou-Cladaras, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    The control of hyperlipidemia plays a central role in cardiovascular disease. Previously, we have shown that camphene, a constituent of mastic gum oil, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) in the plasma of hyperlipidemic rats without affecting HMG-CoA reductase activity, suggesting that its hypocholesterolemic and hypotriglyceridemic effects are associated with a mechanism of action different than that of statins. In the present study, we examine the mechanism by which camphene exerts its hypolipidemic action. We evaluated the effect of camphene on the de novo synthesis of cholesterol and TG from [14C]-acetate in HepG2 cells, along with the statin mevinolin. Camphene inhibited the biosynthesis of cholesterol in a concentration-dependent manner, and a maximal inhibition of 39% was observed at 100 μM while mevinolin nearly abolished cholesterol biosynthesis. Moreover, treatment with camphene reduced TG by 34% and increased apolipoprotein AI expression. In contrast, mevinolin increased TG by 26% and had a modest effect on apolipoprotein AI expression. To evaluate the mode of action of camphene, we examined its effects on the expression of SREBP-1, which affects TG biosynthesis and SREBP-2, which mostly affects sterol synthesis. Interestingly, camphene increased the nuclear translocation of the mature form of SREBP-1 while mevinolin was found to increase the amount of the mature form of SREBP-2. The effect of camphene is most likely regulated through SREBP-1 by affecting MTP levels in response to a decrease in the intracellular cholesterol. We propose that camphene upregulates SREBP-1 expression and MTP inhibition is likely to be a probable mechanism whereby camphene exerts its hypolipidemic effect.

  19. Accumulation of N-Acetylglucosamine Oligomers in the Plant Cell Wall Affects Plant Architecture in a Dose-Dependent and Conditional Manner1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Vanholme, Bartel; Vanholme, Ruben; Turumtay, Halbay; Goeminne, Geert; Cesarino, Igor; Goubet, Florence; Morreel, Kris; Rencoret, Jorge; Bulone, Vincent; Hooijmaijers, Cortwa; De Rycke, Riet; Gheysen, Godelieve; Ralph, John; De Block, Marc; Meulewaeter, Frank; Boerjan, Wout

    2014-01-01

    To study the effect of short N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) oligosaccharides on the physiology of plants, N-ACETYLGLUCOSAMINYLTRANSFERASE (NodC) of Azorhizobium caulinodans was expressed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The corresponding enzyme catalyzes the polymerization of GlcNAc and, accordingly, β-1,4-GlcNAc oligomers accumulated in the plant. A phenotype characterized by difficulties in developing an inflorescence stem was visible when plants were grown for several weeks under short-day conditions before transfer to long-day conditions. In addition, a positive correlation between the oligomer concentration and the penetrance of the phenotype was demonstrated. Although NodC overexpression lines produced less cell wall compared with wild-type plants under nonpermissive conditions, no indications were found for changes in the amount of the major cell wall polymers. The effect on the cell wall was reflected at the transcriptome level. In addition to genes encoding cell wall-modifying enzymes, a whole set of genes encoding membrane-coupled receptor-like kinases were differentially expressed upon GlcNAc accumulation, many of which encoded proteins with an extracellular Domain of Unknown Function26. Although stress-related genes were also differentially expressed, the observed response differed from that of a classical chitin response. This is in line with the fact that the produced chitin oligomers were too small to activate the chitin receptor-mediated signal cascade. Based on our observations, we propose a model in which the oligosaccharides modify the architecture of the cell wall by acting as competitors in carbohydrate-carbohydrate or carbohydrate-protein interactions, thereby affecting noncovalent interactions in the cell wall or at the interface between the cell wall and the plasma membrane. PMID:24664205

  20. [Establishment of optimal conditions at laboratory and pilot plant levels for the preparation of a protein isolated from Lupinus mutabilis].

    PubMed

    Rodríguez Pacheco, T; Aliaga, T; Schoeneberger, H; Gross, R

    1981-12-01

    Laboratory conditions were first investigated to determine are optimum processing parameters for the preparation of a protein isolate from the ground, defatted, commercial flakes of Lupinus mutabilis. The extraction variables were: pH (2-10); solvent to lupine ratio (5:1 to 40:1); temperature (28 degrees C - 60 degrees C) and time (10-50 min). The isoelectric point of the lupine protein was found to be pH 4.5 with a protein solubility higher than 80% above pH 8.0. Using 70-100 mesh, ground defatted flakes, and extracting at pH 8.7 for 60 min, a protein isolate was obtained on acidification to pH 4.5 which was 99.8 protein (dry basis), compared to 55.25% protein for the original material. This protein isolate represented 32% of the initial material and 57.6% of the initial nitrogen. When making pilot plant assays we found that the yield of protein isolate decreased to 20.4% of the original material and 36.4% of the initial nitrogen. The protein efficiency ratio for the protein isolate was 2.15 when supplemented with methionine, and had a digestibility of 89.33

  1. Disturbance gradient shows logging affects plant functional groups more than fire.

    PubMed

    Blair, David P; McBurney, Lachlan M; Blanchard, Wade; Banks, Sam C; Lindenmayer, David B

    2016-10-01

    Understanding the impacts of natural and human disturbances on forest biota is critical for improving forest management. Many studies have examined the separate impacts on fauna and flora of wildfire, conventional logging, and salvage logging, but empirical comparisons across a broad gradient of simultaneous disturbances are lacking. We quantified species richness and frequency of occurrence of vascular plants, and functional group responses, across a gradient of disturbances that occurred concurrently in 2009 in the mountain ash forests of southeastern Australia. Our study encompassed replicated sites in undisturbed forest (~70 yr post fire), forest burned at low severity, forest burned at high severity, unburned forest that was clearcut logged, and forest burned at high severity that was clearcut salvage logged post-fire. All sites were sampled 2 and 3 yr post fire. Mean species richness decreased across the disturbance gradient from 30.1 species/site on low-severity burned sites and 28.9 species/site on high-severity burned sites, to 25.1 species/site on clearcut sites and 21.7 species/site on salvage logged sites. Low-severity burned sites were significantly more species-rich than clearcut sites and salvage logged sites; high-severity burned sites supported greater species richness than salvage logged sites. Specific traits influenced species' sensitivity to disturbance. Resprouting species dominated undisturbed mountain ash forests, but declined significantly across the gradient. Fern and midstory trees decreased significantly in frequency of occurrence across the gradient. Ferns (excluding bracken) decreased from 34% of plants in undisturbed forest to 3% on salvage logged sites. High-severity burned sites supported a greater frequency of occurrence and species richness of midstory trees compared to clearcut and salvage logged sites. Salvage logging supported fewer midstory trees than any other disturbance category, and were distinctly different from

  2. Does insect netting affect the containment of airborne pollen from (GM-) plants in greenhouses?

    PubMed

    van Hengstum, Thomas; Hooftman, Danny A P; den Nijs, Hans C M; van Tienderen, Peter H

    2012-09-01

    Greenhouses are a well-accepted containment strategy to grow and study genetically modified plants (GM) before release into the environment. Various containment levels are requested by national regulations to minimize GM pollen escape. We tested the amount of pollen escaping from a standard greenhouse, which can be used for EU containment classes 1 and 2. More specifically, we investigated the hypothesis whether pollen escape could be minimized by insect-proof netting in front of the roof windows, since the turbulent airflow around the mesh wiring could avoid pollen from escaping. We studied the pollen flow out of greenhouses with and without insect netting of two non-transgenic crops, Ryegrass (Loliummultiflorum) and Corn (Zea Mays). Pollen flow was assessed with Rotorod(®) pollen samplers positioned inside and outside the greenhouse' roof windows. A significant proportion of airborne pollen inside the greenhouse leaves through roof windows. Moreover, the lighter pollen of Lolium escaped more readily than the heavier pollen of Maize. In contrast to our expectations, we did not identify any reduction in pollen flow with insect netting in front of open windows, even under induced airflow conditions. We conclude that insect netting, often present by default in greenhouses, is not effective in preventing pollen escape from greenhouses of wind-pollinated plants for containment classes 1 or 2. Further research would be needed to investigate whether other alternative strategies, including biotic ones, are more effective. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10453-011-9237-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  3. Flower litters of alpine plants affect soil nitrogen and phosphorus rapidly in the eastern Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jinniu; Xu, Bo; Wu, Yan; Gao, Jing; Shi, Fusun

    2016-10-01

    Litters of reproductive organs have rarely been studied despite their role in allocating nutrients for offspring reproduction. This study determines the mechanism through which flower litters efficiently increase the available soil nutrient pool. Field experiments were conducted to collect plant litters and calculate biomass production in an alpine meadow of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. C, N, P, lignin, cellulose content, and their relevant ratios of litters were analyzed to identify their decomposition features. A pot experiment was performed to determine the effects of litter addition on the soil nutrition pool by comparing the treated and control samples. The litter-bag method was used to verify decomposition rates. The flower litters of phanerophyte plants were comparable with non-flower litters. Biomass partitioning of other herbaceous species accounted for 10-40 % of the aboveground biomass. Flower litter possessed significantly higher N and P levels but less C / N, N / P, lignin / N, and lignin and cellulose concentrations than leaf litter. The litter-bag experiment confirmed that the flower litters of Rhododendron przewalskii and Meconopsis integrifolia decompose approximately 3 times faster than mixed litters within 50 days. Pot experiment findings indicated that flower litter addition significantly increased the available nutrient pool and soil microbial productivity. The time of litter fall significantly influenced soil available N and P, and soil microbial biomass. Flower litters fed the soil nutrition pool and influenced nutrition cycling in alpine ecosystems more efficiently because of their non-ignorable production, faster decomposition rate, and higher nutrient contents compared with non-flower litters. The underlying mechanism can enrich nutrients, which return to the soil, and non-structural carbohydrates, which feed and enhance the transitions of soil microorganisms.

  4. Does post-fire plant regeneration mode affect the germination response to fire-related cues?

    PubMed

    Ne'eman, Gidi; Ne'eman, Rina; Keith, David A; Whelan, Rob J

    2009-03-01

    Vegetative resprouting, soil or canopy-stored seed banks, post-fire seed dispersal and germination are the major strategies by which plants regenerate after fires. Post-fire regeneration modes of plants are commonly based on the presence or absence of post-fire recruitment as well as the presence or absence of post-fire resprouting. High temperatures, smoke and ash are characteristics of fire and the post-fire environment. We hypothesized that heat, smoke, ash and pH will have differential effects on seed germination depending on species' post-fire regeneration strategies: serotinous vs. nonserotinous (which may have soil seed banks) and resprouters vs. nonresprouters (which may be obligate seeders). Here we examined the effects of these factors on the germination of 27 common east Australian species. Most serotinous species supported our hypothesis by showing no effect or reduced germination in response to heat. However, contrary to our prediction, all nonserotinous nonresprouting species also showed no effect or reduced germination in response to heat. Smoke, contrary to our hypothesis, had a negative or no effect on all serotinous and nonresprouting species, but no clear directional effect on serotinous and resprouting species. Supporting our hypotheses, ash and high pH showed positive or nonsignificant effects on the germination of all serotinous resprouting species, and a negative or no effect on nonserotinous resprouting species. However, contrary to our prediction, it had a negative or no effect on the serotinous nonresprouting species and no clear effect on nonserotinous nonresprouting species. We also discovered large differences in germination responses between conspecific populations that varied in their degree of resprouting. Although our data confirmed several of our predictions, the overall conclusion is that the responses of seeds to heat, smoke, ash and pH are not tightly associated with post-fire regeneration functional types.

  5. Selenium bioavailability and uptake as affected by four different plants in a loamy clay soil with particular attention to mycorrhizae inoculated ryegrass.

    PubMed

    Munier-Lamy, C; Deneux-Mustin, S; Mustin, C; Merlet, D; Berthelin, J; Leyval, C

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of plant species, especially of their rhizosphere soil, and of inoculation with an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus on the bioavailability of selenium and its transfer in soil-plant systems. A pot experiment was performed with a loamy clay soil and four plant species: maize, lettuce, radish and ryegrass, the last one being inoculated or not with an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (Glomus mosseae). Plant biomass and Se concentration in shoots and roots were estimated at harvest. Se bioavailability in rhizosphere and unplanted soil was evaluated using sequential extractions. Plant biomass and selenium uptake varied with plant species. The quantity of rhizosphere soil also differed between plants and was not proportional to plant biomass. The highest plant biomass, Se concentration in plants, and soil to plant transfer factor were obtained with radish. The lowest Se transfer factors were obtained with ryegrass. For the latter, mycorrhizal inoculation did not significantly affect plant growth, but reduced selenium transfer from soil to plant by 30%. In unplanted soil after 65 days aging, more than 90% of added Se was water-extractable. On the contrary, Se concentration in water extracts of rhizosphere soil represented less than 1% and 20% of added Se for ryegrass and maize, respectively. No correlation was found between the water-extractable fraction and Se concentration in plants. The speciation of selenium in the water extracts indicated that selenate was reduced, may be under organic forms, in the rhizosphere soil.

  6. Planting densities and bird and rodent absence affect size distributions of four dicots in synthetic tallgrass communities.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Garza, Cristina; Saha, Sonali; Torres, Veronica; Brown, Joel S; Howe, Henry F

    2004-05-01

    Variability in the size distributions of populations is usually studied in monocultures or in mixed plantings of two species. Variability of size distributions of populations in more complex communities has been neglected. The effects of seeding density (35 or 350 seeds/species/m2) and presence of small vertebrates on the variability of size distributions were studied for a total of 1,920 individuals of 4 species in replicated synthetic communities of 18 species in northern Illinois. End-of season height and above-ground biomass were measured for prairie perennials Dalea purpurea (purple prairie clover), Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower), Desmanthus illinoensis (Illinois bundleflower) and Heliopsis helianthoides (early sunflower). Variability in biomass distribution of the four target species was twice as great at low than at high densities when small vertebrates were excluded. Our results suggest that inter- and intraspecific competition may affect all individuals more under high-density conditions, thereby reducing the variability in their biomass distributions within this community. This result, a consequence of plant-plant interaction, is obscured when small birds or mammals are present, presumably because either or both add variance that overwhelms the pattern.

  7. Host resistance selects for traits unrelated to resistance-breaking that affect fitness in a plant virus.

    PubMed

    Fraile, Aurora; Hily, Jean-Michel; Pagán, Israel; Pacios, Luis F; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2014-04-01

    The acquisition by parasites of the capacity to infect resistant host genotypes, that is, resistance-breaking, is predicted to be hindered by across-host fitness trade-offs. All analyses of costs of resistance-breaking in plant viruses have focused on within-host multiplication without considering other fitness components, which may limit understanding of virus evolution. We have reported that host range expansion of tobamoviruses on L-gene resistant pepper genotypes was associated with severe within-host multiplication penalties. Here, we analyze whether resistance-breaking costs might affect virus survival in the environment by comparing tobamovirus pathotypes differing in infectivity on L-gene resistance alleles. We predicted particle stability from structural models, analyzed particle stability in vitro, and quantified virus accumulation in different plant organs and virus survival in the soil. Survival in the soil differed among tobamovirus pathotypes and depended on differential stability of virus particles. Structure model analyses showed that amino acid changes in the virus coat protein (CP) responsible for resistance-breaking affected the strength of the axial interactions among CP subunits in the rod-shaped particle, thus determining its stability and survival. Pathotypes ranked differently for particle stability/survival and for within-host accumulation. Resistance-breaking costs in survival add to, or subtract from, costs in multiplication according to pathotype. Hence, differential pathotype survival should be considered along with differential multiplication to understand the evolution of the virus populations. Results also show that plant resistance, in addition to selecting for resistance-breaking and for decreased multiplication, also selects for changes in survival, a trait unrelated to the host-pathogen interaction that may condition host range expansion.

  8. From facilitation to competition: temperature-driven shift in dominant plant interactions affects population dynamics in seminatural grasslands.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Siri L; Töpper, Joachim P; Skarpaas, Olav; Vandvik, Vigdis; Klanderud, Kari

    2016-05-01

    Biotic interactions are often ignored in assessments of climate change impacts. However, climate-related changes in species interactions, often mediated through increased dominance of certain species or functional groups, may have important implications for how species respond to climate warming and altered precipitation patterns. We examined how a dominant plant functional group affected the population dynamics of four co-occurring forb species by experimentally removing graminoids in seminatural grasslands. Specifically, we explored how the interaction between dominants and subordinates varied with climate by replicating the removal experiment across a climate grid consisting of 12 field sites spanning broad-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in southern Norway. Biotic interactions affected population growth rates of all study species, and the net outcome of interactions between dominants and subordinates switched from facilitation to competition with increasing temperature along the temperature gradient. The impacts of competitive interactions on subordinates in the warmer sites could primarily be attributed to reduced plant survival. Whereas the response to dominant removal varied with temperature, there was no overall effect of precipitation on the balance between competition and facilitation. Our findings suggest that global warming may increase the relative importance of competitive interactions in seminatural grasslands across a wide range of precipitation levels, thereby favouring highly competitive dominant species over subordinate species. As a result, seminatural grasslands may become increasingly dependent on disturbance (i.e. traditional management such as grazing and mowing) to maintain viable populations of subordinate species and thereby biodiversity under future climates. Our study highlights the importance of population-level studies replicated under different climatic conditions for understanding the underlying mechanisms of climate

  9. Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant - An Overview of the Current Efforts to Stabilize the Chornobyl Shelter and Establish an Environmentally Safe Site

    SciTech Connect

    Couch, Daniel P.; Gronier, Serge; Heriot, Ian D.; Hogg, Charles; Novak, Vince; Schmieman, Eric A.

    2005-08-08

    Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant ? An Overview of the Current Efforts to Stabilize the Chornobyl Shelter and Establish an Environmentally Safe Site Abstract?The 1986 accident at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine resulted in the destruction of the reactor core and most of the reactor building. The Chornobyl accident released an enormous quantity of radionuclides into the environment, significantly contaminating a large region around the plant. Within seven months of the accident, the damaged Unit 4 was encased in a massive concrete and steel enclosure known as the Shelter. Deterioration of the Shelter over time poses increasing risks. The Shelter is subject to structural damage or collapse due to wind, snow loading, or seismic activity. Collapse could lead to the release of radioactive fallout. Leakage of rainwater into the Shelter has caused the accumulation of a large quantity of highly radioactive liquid, corrosion of extremely contaminated nuclear fuel debris, and creation of hazardous radioactive dust. To address these concerns, the government of Ukraine, the G7 nations, and additional donor countries adopted the Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) in 1997. The SIP's objectives are to reduce the risk and potential consequences of accidental collapse of the Shelter; improve nuclear, industrial and environmental safety; and develop a long-term strategy for conversion to an environmentally safe site. Implementation of the SIP has made significant progress that will lead to the construction of a new confinement facility by 2009. (Full paper available by contacting lead author, Dan Couch)

  10. Factors affecting population of filamentous bacteria in wastewater treatment plants with nutrients removal.

    PubMed

    Miłobędzka, Aleksandra; Witeska, Anna; Muszyński, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Filamentous population in activated sludge and key operational parameters of full-scale municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with bulking problems representative for Poland were investigated with quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization. Statistical analyses revealed few relationships between operational parameters and biovolume of filamentous bacteria. Sludge age was not only positively correlated with abundance of Chloroflexi (parametric correlation and principal component analysis (PCA)), but also differentiated Microthrix population (analysis of variance (ANOVA)). Phylum Chloroflexi and pH presented a negative relation during the study (PCA). ANOVA showed that pH of influent and sludge volume index (SVI) differentiated abundance of types 0803 and 1851 of Chloroflexi and candidate division TM7. SVI increased along with higher abundance of Microthrix (positive parametric and non-parametric correlations and positive relation in PCA). Biovolumes of morphotypes 0803 and 1851 of Chloroflexi were differentiated by organic matter in influent, also by nutrients in the case of Chloroflexi type 1851. Chemical and biological oxygen demands (COD and BOD5, respectively) were negatively correlated with Microthrix. COD also differentiated the abundance of Haliscomenobacter hydrossis. Results of the study can be used to prevent WWTPs from excessive proliferation of filamentous bacteria and operational problems caused by them--bulking and foaming of activated sludge.

  11. High root temperature affects the tolerance to high light intensity in Spathiphyllum plants.

    PubMed

    Soto, Adriana; Hernández, Laura; Quiles, María José

    2014-10-01

    Spathiphyllum wallisii plants were sensitive to temperature stress under high illumination, although the susceptibility of leaves to stress may be modified by root temperature. Leaves showed higher tolerance to high illumination, in both cold and heat conditions, when the roots were cooled, probably because the chloroplast were protected by excess excitation energy dissipation mechanisms such as cyclic electron transport. When the roots were cooled both the activity of electron donation by NADPH and ferredoxin to plastoquinone and the amount of PGR5 polypeptide, an essential component of cyclic electron flow around PSI, increased. However, when the stems were heated or cooled under high illumination, but the roots were heated, the quantum yield of PSII decreased considerably and neither the electron donation activity by NADPH and ferredoxin to plastoquinone nor the amount of PGR5 polypeptide increased. In such conditions, the cyclic electron flow cannot be enhanced by high light and PSII is damaged as a result of insufficient dissipation of excess light energy. Additionally, the damage to PSII induced the increase in both chlororespiratory enzymes, NDH complex and PTOX.

  12. Source population characteristics affect heterosis following genetic rescue of fragmented plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Pickup, M.; Field, D. L.; Rowell, D. M.; Young, A. G.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the relative importance of heterosis and outbreeding depression over multiple generations is a key question in evolutionary biology and is essential for identifying appropriate genetic sources for population and ecosystem restoration. Here we use 2455 experimental crosses between 12 population pairs of the rare perennial plant Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Asteraceae) to investigate the multi-generational (F1, F2, F3) fitness outcomes of inter-population hybridization. We detected no evidence of outbreeding depression, with inter-population hybrids and backcrosses showing either similar fitness or significant heterosis for fitness components across the three generations. Variation in heterosis among population pairs was best explained by characteristics of the foreign source or home population, and was greatest when the source population was large, with high genetic diversity and low inbreeding, and the home population was small and inbred. Our results indicate that the primary consideration for maximizing progeny fitness following population augmentation or restoration is the use of seed from large, genetically diverse populations. PMID:23173202

  13. Ectopic KNOX Expression Affects Plant Development by Altering Tissue Cell Polarity and Identity[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Rebocho, Alexandra B.

    2016-01-01

    Plant development involves two polarity types: tissue cell (asymmetries within cells are coordinated across tissues) and regional (identities vary spatially across tissues) polarity. Both appear altered in the barley (Hordeum vulgare) Hooded mutant, in which ectopic expression of the KNOTTED1-like Homeobox (KNOX) gene, BKn3, causes inverted polarity of differentiated hairs and ectopic flowers, in addition to wing-shaped outgrowths. These lemma-specific effects allow the spatiotemporal analysis of events following ectopic BKn3 expression, determining the relationship between KNOXs, polarity, and shape. We show that tissue cell polarity, based on localization of the auxin transporter SISTER OF PINFORMED1 (SoPIN1), dynamically reorients as ectopic BKn3 expression increases. Concurrently, ectopic expression of the auxin importer LIKE AUX1 and boundary gene NO APICAL MERISTEM is activated. The polarity of hairs reflects SoPIN1 patterns, suggesting that tissue cell polarity underpins oriented cell differentiation. Wing cell files reveal an anisotropic growth pattern, and computational modeling shows how polarity guiding growth can account for this pattern and wing emergence. The inverted ectopic flower orientation does not correlate with SoPIN1, suggesting that this form of regional polarity is not controlled by tissue cell polarity. Overall, the results suggest that KNOXs trigger different morphogenetic effects through interplay between tissue cell polarity, identity, and growth. PMID:27553356

  14. Factors affecting the uptake of 14C-labeled organic chemicals by plants from soil

    SciTech Connect

    Topp, E.; Scheunert, I.; Attar, A.; Korte, F.

    1986-04-01

    The uptake of /sup 14/C from various /sup 14/C-labeled organic chemicals from different chemical classes by barley and cress seedlings from soil was studied for 7 days in a closed aerated laboratory apparatus. Uptake by roots and by leaves via the air was determined separately. Although comparative long-term outdoor studies showed that an equilibrium is not reached within a short time period, plant concentration factors after 7 days could be correlated to some physicochemical and structural substance properties. Barley root concentration factors due to root uptake, expressed as concentration in roots divided by concentration in soil, gave a fairly good negative correlation to adsorption coefficients based on soil organic carbon. Barley root concentration factors, expressed as concentration in roots divided by concentration in soil liquid, gave a positive correlation to the n-octanol/water partition coefficients. Uptake of chemicals by barley leaves via air was strongly positively correlated to volatilization of chemicals from soil. Both root and foliar uptake by barley could be correlated well to the molecular weight of 14 chemicals. Uptake of chemicals by cress differed from that by barley, and correlations to physicochemical substance properties mostly were poor.

  15. Ectopic KNOX Expression Affects Plant Development by Altering Tissue Cell Polarity and Identity.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Annis Elizabeth; Rebocho, Alexandra B; Coen, Enrico S

    2016-08-23

    Plant development involves two polarity types: tissue cell (asymmetries within cells are coordinated across tissues) and regional (identities vary spatially across tissues) polarity. Both appear altered in the barley (Hordeum vulgare) Hooded mutant, in which ectopic expression of the KNOTTED1-like Homeobox (KNOX) gene, BKn3, causes inverted polarity of differentiated hairs and ectopic flowers, in addition to wing-shaped outgrowths. These lemma-specific effects allow the spatiotemporal analysis of events following ectopic BKn3 expression, determining the relationship between KNOXs, polarity, and shape. We show that tissue cell polarity, based on localization of the auxin transporter SISTER OF PINFORMED1 (SoPIN1), dynamically reorients as ectopic BKn3 expression increases. Concurrently, ectopic expression of the auxin importer LIKE AUX1 and boundary gene NO APICAL MERISTEM is activated. The polarity of hairs reflects SoPIN1 patterns, suggesting that tissue cell polarity underpins oriented cell differentiation. Wing cell files reveal an anisotropic growth pattern, and computational modeling shows how polarity guiding growth can account for this pattern and wing emergence. The inverted ectopic flower orientation does not correlate with SoPIN1, suggesting that this form of regional polarity is not controlled by tissue cell polarity. Overall, the results suggest that KNOXs trigger different morphogenetic effects through interplay between tissue cell polarity, identity, and growth.

  16. Occurrence and transport of pharmaceuticals in a karst groundwater system affected by domestic wastewater treatment plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Einsiedl, Florian; Radke, Michael; Maloszewski, Piotr

    2010-09-01

    The occurrence of two pharmaceuticals, ibuprofen and diclofenac, in a vulnerable karst groundwater system was investigated. The hydrogeology of the karst system was identified by collecting 3H samples in groundwater over 27 years and by performing tracer tests. The isotopes and tracer data were interpreted by mathematical modeling to estimate the mean transit time of water and to characterize the hydrogeological flow paths in the groundwater system. By this approach, a mean 3H transit time of 4.6 years for the fissured-porous karst aquifer was determined, whereas the fast flowing water in the conduit system showed a mean transit time of days. Both pharmaceuticals which infiltrated along sinkholes and small streams into the karst system were detected in concentrations of up to approximately 1 μg/L in effluent water of the wastewater treatment plants. Diclofenac was present in most samples collected from four springs discharging the karst groundwater to the rivers Altmühl and Anlauter in concentrations between 3.6 and 15.4 ng/L. In contrast, ibuprofen was rarely detected in groundwater. The results of this study suggest that both pharmaceuticals move into the fractured system of the karst system and go into storage. Thus dilution processes are the dominant control on the concentrations of both pharmaceuticals in the fractured system, whereas biodegradation is likely less important.

  17. Occurrence and transport of pharmaceuticals in a karst groundwater system affected by domestic wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Einsiedl, Florian; Radke, Michael; Maloszewski, Piotr

    2010-09-20

    The occurrence of two pharmaceuticals, ibuprofen and diclofenac, in a vulnerable karst groundwater system was investigated. The hydrogeology of the karst system was identified by collecting (3)H samples in groundwater over 27years and by performing tracer tests. The isotopes and tracer data were interpreted by mathematical modeling to estimate the mean transit time of water and to characterize the hydrogeological flow paths in the groundwater system. By this approach, a mean (3)H transit time of 4.6 years for the fissured-porous karst aquifer was determined, whereas the fast flowing water in the conduit system showed a mean transit time of days. Both pharmaceuticals which infiltrated along sinkholes and small streams into the karst system were detected in concentrations of up to approximately 1 microg/L in effluent water of the wastewater treatment plants. Diclofenac was present in most samples collected from four springs discharging the karst groundwater to the rivers Altmühl and Anlauter in concentrations between 3.6 and 15.4 ng/L. In contrast, ibuprofen was rarely detected in groundwater. The results of this study suggest that both pharmaceuticals move into the fractured system of the karst system and go into storage. Thus dilution processes are the dominant control on the concentrations of both pharmaceuticals in the fractured system, whereas biodegradation is likely less important.

  18. Seasonal timing of first rain storms affects rare plant population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Levine, J.M.; McEachern, A.K.; Cowan, C.

    2011-01-01

    A major challenge in forecasting the ecological consequences of climate change is understanding the relative importance of changes to mean conditions vs. changes to discrete climatic events, such as storms, frosts, or droughts. Here we show that the first major storm of the growing season strongly influences the population dynamics of three rare and endangered annual plant species in a coastal California (USA) ecosystem. In a field experiment we used moisture barriers and water addition to manipulate the timing and temperature associated with first major rains of the season. The three focal species showed two- to fivefold variation in per capita population growth rates between the different storm treatments, comparable to variation found in a prior experiment imposing eightfold differences in season-long precipitation. Variation in germination was a major demographic driver of how two of three species responded to the first rains. For one of these species, the timing of the storm was the most critical determinant of its germination, while the other showed enhanced germination with colder storm temperatures. The role of temperature was further supported by laboratory trials showing enhanced germination in cooler treatments. Our work suggests that, because of species-specific cues for demographic transitions such as germination, changes to discrete climate events may be as, if not more, important than changes to season-long variables.

  19. How does altered precipitation and annual grass invasion affect plant N uptake in a native semi-arid shrub community?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauritz, M.; Lipson, D.; Cleland, E. E.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is expected to alter precipitation patterns, which will change the timing and amount of plant resources. Precipitation patterns determine water and nitrogen (N) availability, because water stimulates microbial N turnover and N transport. In order for plants to utilize water and N, they must coincide with the phenology and meet physiological requirements of the plant. As resource supply shifts, differences in species' ability to acquire resources will affect plant community composition. Semiarid ecosystems, such as shrublands in Southern California, are particularly sensitive to shifts in precipitation because they are severely water limited. This study takes advantage of the altered phenology and resource demands presented by invasive annual grasses in a native semiarid shrubland. The goal is to understand how altered precipitation patterns affect plant N uptake. Rainfall levels were manipulated to 50% and 150% of ambient levels. It is expected that higher rainfall levels promote annual grass invasion because grasses have higher water and N requirements and begin to grow earlier in the season than shrubs. A 15N tracer was added with the first rain event and plant samples were collected regularly to track the movement of N into the plants. Net soil N accumulation was determined using resin bags. Invasive grasses altered the timing and amount of N uptake but amount of rainfall had less effect on N distribution. 15N was detected sooner and at higher level in grasses than shrubs. 24hours after the first rain event 15N was detectable in grasses, 15N accumulated rapidly and peaked 2 months earlier than shrubs. Shrub 15N levels remained at pre-rain event levels for the first 2 months and began to increase at the beginning of spring, peak mid-spring and decline as the shrubs entered summer dormancy. One year later 15N levels in annual grass litter remained high, while 15N levels in shrubs returned to initial background levels as a result of resorption. 15N

  20. Duration of plant damage by host larvae affects attraction of two parasitoid species (Microplitis croceipes and Cotesia marginiventris) to cotton: implications for interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Morawo, Tolulope; Fadamiro, Henry

    2014-12-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by herbivore-damaged plants can guide parasitoids to their hosts. The quantity and quality of VOC blends emitted by plants may be affected by the duration of plant damage by herbivores, which could have potential ramifications on the recruitment of competing parasitoids. We used two parasitoid species, Microplitis croceipes and Cotesia marginiventris (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), to address the question of whether duration of plant damage affects parasitoid use of plant VOCs for host location. Both wasp species are larval endoparasitoids of Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), an important pest of cotton. Attraction of the two parasitoid species to odors emitted by undamaged (UD), fresh (6 h infestation) damage (FD), and old (24 h infestation) damage (OD) cotton plants infested by H. virescens larvae was investigated using a headspace volatile collection system coupled with four-choice olfactometer bioassay. Both sexes of M. croceipes showed a preference for FD- and OD-plant odors over UD-plants. On the other hand, more C. marginiventris females were attracted to UD- and FD-plants than to OD-plants. GC/MS analyses showed qualitative and quantitative differences in the VOC profiles of UD, FD, and OD-plants, which may explain the observed preferences of the parasitoids. These results suggest a temporal partitioning in the recruitment of M. croceipes and C. marginiventris to H. virescens-damaged cotton, and may have potential implications for interspecific competition between the two parasitoid species.

  1. High expression of Lifeact in Arabidopsis thaliana reduces dynamic reorganization of actin filaments but does not affect plant development.

    PubMed

    van der Honing, Hannie S; van Bezouwen, Laura S; Emons, Anne Mie C; Ketelaar, Tijs

    2011-10-01

    Lifeact is a novel probe that labels actin filaments in a wide range of organisms. We compared the localization and reorganization of Lifeact:Venus-labeled actin filaments in Arabidopsis root hairs and root epidermal cells of lines that express different levels of Lifeact: Venus with that of actin filaments labeled with GFP:FABD2, a commonly used probe in plants. Unlike GFP:FABD2, Lifeact:Venus labeled the highly dynamic fine F-actin in the subapical region of tip-growing root hairs. Lifeact:Venus expression at varying levels was not observed to affect plant development. However, at expression levels comparable to those of GFP:FABD2 in a well-characterized marker line, Lifeact:Venus reduced reorganization rates of bundles of actin filaments in root epidermal cells. Reorganization rates of cytoplasmic strands, which reflect the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, were also reduced in these lines. Moreover, in the same line, Lifeact:Venus-decorated actin filaments were more resistant to depolymerization by latrunculin B than those in an equivalent GFP:FABD2-expressing line. In lines where Lifeact: Venus is expressed at lower levels, these effects are less prominent or even absent. We conclude that Lifeact: Venus reduces remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis in a concentration-dependent manner. Since this reduction occurs at expression levels that do not cause defects in plant development, selection of normally growing plants is not sufficient to determine optimal Lifeact expression levels. When correct expression levels of Lifeact have been determined, it is a valuable probe that labels dynamic populations of actin filaments such as fine F-actin, better than FABD2 does.

  2. Plant genetic identity of foundation tree species and their hybrids affects a litter-dwelling generalist predator.

    PubMed

    Wojtowicz, Todd; Compson, Zacchaeus G; Lamit, Louis J; Whitham, Thomas G; Gehring, Catherine A

    2014-11-01

    The effects of plant genetics on predators, especially those not living on the plant itself, are rarely studied and poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated the effect of plant hybridization and genotype on litter-dwelling spiders. Using an 18-year-old cottonwood common garden, we recorded agelenid sheet-web density associated with the litter layers of replicated genotypes of three tree cross types: Populus fremontii, Populus angustifolia, and their F1 hybrids. We surveyed 118 trees for agelenid litter webs at two distances from the trees (0-100 and 100-200 cm from trunk) and measured litter depth as a potential mechanism of web density patterns. Five major results emerged: web density within a 1-m radius of P. angustifolia was approximately three times higher than within a 1-m radius of P. fremontii, with F1 hybrids having intermediate densities; web density responded to P. angustifolia and F1 hybrid genotypes as indicated by a significant genotype × distance interaction, with some genotypes exhibiting a strong decline in web density with distance, while others did not; P. angustifolia litter layers were deeper than those of P. fremontii at both distance classes, and litter depth among P. angustifolia genotypes differed up to 300%; cross type and genotype influenced web density via their effects on litter depth, and these effects were influenced by distance; web density was more sensitive to the effects of tree cross type than genotype. By influencing generalist predators, plant hybridization and genotype may indirectly impact trophic interactions such as intraguild predation, possibly affecting trophic cascades and ecosystem processes.

  3. Establishing operations

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Jack

    1993-01-01

    The first two books on behavior analysis (Skinner, 1938; Keller & Schoenfeld, 1950) had chapter-length coverage of motivation. The next generation of texts also had chapters on the topic, but by the late 1960s it was no longer being given much treatment in the behavior-analytic literature. The present failure to deal with the topic leaves a gap in our understanding of operant functional relations. A partial solution is to reintroduce the concept of the establishing operation, defined as an environmental event, operation, or stimulus condition that affects an organism by momentarily altering (a) the reinforcing effectiveness of other events and (b) the frequency of occurrence of that part of the organism's repertoire relevant to those events as consequences. Discriminative and motivative variables can be distinguished as follows: The former are related to the differential availability of an effective form of reinforcement given a particular type of behavior; the latter are related to the differential reinforcing effectiveness of environmental events. An important distinction can also be made between unconditioned establishing operations (UEOs), such as food deprivation and painful stimulation, and conditioned establishing operations (CEOs) that depend on the learning history of the organism. One type of CEO is a stimulus that has simply been paired with a UEO and as a result may take on some of the motivative properties of that UEO. The warning stimulus in avoidance procedures is another important type of CEO referred to as reflexive because it establishes its own termination as a form of reinforcement and evokes the behavior that has accomplished such termination. Another CEO is closely related to the concept of conditional conditioned reinforcement and is referred to as a transitive CEO, because it establishes some other stimulus as a form of effective reinforcement and evokes the behavior that has produced that other stimulus. The multiple control of human

  4. A Locus in Drosophila sechellia Affecting Tolerance of a Host Plant Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Hungate, Eric A.; Earley, Eric J.; Boussy, Ian A.; Turissini, David A.; Ting, Chau-Ti; Moran, Jennifer R.; Wu, Mao-Lien; Wu, Chung-I; Jones, Corbin D.

    2013-01-01

    Many insects feed on only one or a few types of host. These host specialists often evolve a preference for chemical cues emanating from their host and develop mechanisms for circumventing their host’s defenses. Adaptations like these are central to evolutionary biology, yet our understanding of their genetics remains incomplete. Drosophila sechellia, an emerging model for the genetics of host specialization, is an island endemic that has adapted to chemical toxins present in the fruit of its host plant, Morinda citrifolia. Its sibling species, D. simulans, and many other Drosophila species do not tolerate these toxins and avoid the fruit. Earlier work found a region with a strong effect on tolerance to the major toxin, octanoic acid, on chromosome arm 3R. Using a novel assay, we narrowed this region to a small span near the centromere containing 18 genes, including three odorant binding proteins. It has been hypothesized that the evolution of host specialization is facilitated by genetic linkage between alleles contributing to host preference and alleles contributing to host usage, such as tolerance to secondary compounds. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the effect of this tolerance locus on host preference behavior. Our data were inconsistent with the linkage hypothesis, as flies bearing this tolerance region showed no increase in preference for media containing M. citrifolia toxins, which D. sechellia prefers. Thus, in contrast to some models for host preference, preference and tolerance are not tightly linked at this locus nor is increased tolerance per se sufficient to change preference. Our data are consistent with the previously proposed model that the evolution of D. sechellia as a M. citrifolia specialist occurred through a stepwise loss of aversion and gain of tolerance to M. citrifolia’s toxins. PMID:24037270

  5. Model of the biotic cycle "plants germs - microorganisms" by affect heavy metal salts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisman, Tamara

    The growth of wheat germ roots exposed to heavy metal salts (ZnSO4) was studied experimentally and theoretically. During the experiment the plant seeds were preliminarily treated with an experimental microbial association. As a result, data were obtained about the decrease of the inhibiting effect of zinc on the growth of wheat germ roots where the seeds had been treated with the microbial association. To understand such effect, calculations were made to reveal the specific growth rate of a germ root depending on the inhibitor concentration with and without microorganism association treatment. It was shown that in case with the wheat germ roots the seeds of which had been treated with the microorganisms the inhibition constant (kI = 45 MPC (Maximum Permissible Concentration) was higher than in the case with the roots growing out of the seeds that hadn't been treated with the microorganisms (kI = 32 MPC). One of possible reasons for the decrease of growth inhibition of wheat germ roots by zinc salt is the protective function of microorganism's treatment of the seeds. To verify and confirm the experimental results, a mathematical model was created imitating the interaction between wheat germ roots and microbial association exposed to an inhibitor. Investigation of the model proved that the microbial association has a positive effect on the growth of wheat germ roots exposed to an inhibitor. The experimental and theoretical results agreed quantitatively. It was found out that the increase of the inhibitor concentration led to the effect of maximum relief of zinc inhibiting impact. The work is supported by grants Yenissei 07-04-96806.

  6. Leaf structure affects a plant's appearance: combined multiple-mechanisms intensify remarkable foliar variegation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yun-Shiuan; Chesson, Peter; Wu, Ho-Wei; Pao, Shang-Hung; Liu, Jian-Wei; Chien, Lee-Feng; Yong, Jean W H; Sheue, Chiou-Rong

    2017-03-01

    The presence of foliar variegation challenges perceptions of leaf form and functioning. But variegation is often incorrectly identified and misinterpreted. The striking variegation found in juvenile Blastus cochinchinensis (Melastomataceae) provides an instructive case study of mechanisms and their ecophysiological implications. Variegated (white and green areas, vw and vg) and non-variegated leaves (normal green leaves, ng) of seedlings of Blastus were compared structurally with microtechniques, and characterized for chlorophyll content and fluorescence. More limited study of Sonerila heterostemon (Melastomataceae) and Kaempferia pulchra (Zingiberaceae) tested the generality of the findings. Variegation in Blastus combines five mechanisms: epidermal, air space, upper mesophyll, chloroplast and crystal, the latter two being new mechanisms. All mesophyll cells (vw, vg, ng) have functional chloroplasts with dense thylakoids. The vw areas are distinguished by flatter adaxial epidermal cells and central trichomes containing crystals, the presence of air spaces between the adaxial epidermis and a colorless spongy-like upper mesophyll containing smaller and fewer chloroplasts. The vw area is further distinguished by having the largest spongy-tissue chloroplasts and fewer stomata. Both leaf types have similar total chlorophyll content and similar  F v/F m (maximum quantum yield of PSII), but vg has significantly higher F v/F m than ng. Variegation in Sonerila and Kaempferia is also caused by combined mechanisms, including the crystal type in Kaempferia. This finding of combined mechanisms in three different species suggests that combined mechanisms may occur more commonly in nature than current understanding. The combined mechanisms in Blastus variegated leaves represent intricate structural modifications that may compensate for and minimize photosynthetic loss, and reflect changing plant needs.

  7. Changes of the soil environment affected by fly ash dumping site of the electric power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Jerzy; Gwizdz, Marta; Jamroz, Elzbieta; Debicka, Magdalena; Kocowicz, Andrzej

    2014-05-01

    In this study the effect of fly ash dumping site of the electric power plant on the surrounding soil environment was investigated. The fly ash dumping site collect wastes form brown coal combustion of Belchatow electric power station, central Poland. The dumping site is surrounding by forest, where pine trees overgrow Podzols derived from loose quartz sands. The soil profiles under study were located at a distance of 50, 100, 400 and 500 m from the dumping site, while control profiles were located 8 km away from the landfill. In all horizons of soil profiles the mpain hysico-chemical and chemical properties were determined. The humic substances were extracted from ectohumus horizons by Shnitzer's method, purified using XAD resin and freeze-dried. The fulvic acids were passed through a cation exchange column and freeze-dried. Optical density, elemental composition and atomic ratios were determined in the humic and fulvic acids. Organic carbon by KMnO4 oxidation was also determined in the organic soil horizons. The fly ash from the landfill characterized by high salinity and strong alkaline reaction (pH=10), which contributed significantly to the changes of the pH values in soils horizons. The alkalization of soils adjacent to the landfill was found, which manifested in increasing of pH values in the upper soil horizons. The impact of the landfill was also noted in the changes of the soil morphology of Podzols analysed. As a result of the alkalization, Bhs horizons have been converted into a Bs horizons. Leaching of low molecular humus fraction - typical for podzolization - has been minimized as a result of pH changes caused by the impact of the landfill, and originally occurring humic substances in the Bhs horizon (present in the control profiles) have been probably transported out of the soil profile and then into the groundwater.

  8. VTC4 is a bifunctional enzyme that affects myoinositol and ascorbate biosynthesis in plants.

    PubMed

    Torabinejad, Javad; Donahue, Janet L; Gunesekera, Bhadra N; Allen-Daniels, Matthew J; Gillaspy, Glenda E

    2009-06-01

    Myoinositol synthesis and catabolism are crucial in many multiceullar eukaryotes for the production of phosphatidylinositol signaling molecules, glycerophosphoinositide membrane anchors, cell wall pectic noncellulosic polysaccharides, and several other molecules including ascorbate. Myoinositol monophosphatase (IMP) is a major enzyme required for the synthesis of myoinositol and the breakdown of myoinositol (1,4,5)trisphosphate, a potent second messenger involved in many biological activities. It has been shown that the VTC4 enzyme from kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) has similarity to IMP and can hydrolyze l-galactose 1-phosphate (l-Gal 1-P), suggesting that this enzyme may be bifunctional and linked with two potential pathways of plant ascorbate synthesis. We describe here the kinetic comparison of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) recombinant VTC4 with d-myoinositol 3-phosphate (d-Ins 3-P) and l-Gal 1-P. Purified VTC4 has only a small difference in the V(max)/K(m) for l-Gal 1-P as compared with d-Ins 3-P and can utilize other related substrates. Inhibition by either Ca(2+) or Li(+), known to disrupt cell signaling, was the same with both l-Gal 1-P and d-Ins 3-P. To determine whether the VTC4 gene impacts myoinositol synthesis in Arabidopsis, we isolated T-DNA knockout lines of VTC4 that exhibit small perturbations in abscisic acid, salt, and cold responses. Analysis of metabolite levels in vtc4 mutants showed that less myoinositol and ascorbate accumulate in these mutants. Therefore, VTC4 is a bifunctional enzyme that impacts both myoinositol and ascorbate synthesis pathways.

  9. Tipburn in salt-affected lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) plants results from local oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Carassay, Luciano R; Bustos, Dolores A; Golberg, Alberto D; Taleisnik, Edith

    2012-02-15

    Tipburn in lettuce is a physiological disorder expressed as a necrosis in the margins of young developing leaves and is commonly observed under saline conditions. Tipburn is usually attributed to Ca(2+) deficiencies, and there has very limited research on other mechanisms that may contribute to tipburn development. This work examines whether symptoms are mediated by increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Two butter lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) varieties, Sunstar (Su) and Pontina (Po), with contrasting tipburn susceptibility were grown in hydroponics with low Ca(2+) (0.5 mM), and with or without 50 mM NaCl. Tipburn symptoms were observed only in Su, and only in the saline treatment. Tipburn incidence in response to topical treatments with Ca(2+) scavengers, Ca(2+) transport inhibitors, and antioxidants was assessed. All treatments were applied before symptom expression, and evaluated later, when symptoms were expected to occur. Superoxide presence in tissues was determined with nitro blue tetrazolium (NBT) and oxidative damage as malondialdehyde (MDA) content. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activities were assayed. Under control and saline conditions, tipburn could be induced in both varieties by topical treatments with a Ca(2+) scavenger (EGTA) and Ca(2+) transport inhibitors (verapamil, LaCl(3)) and reduced by supplying Ca(2+) along with a ionophore (A 23187). Tipburn symptoms were associated with locally produced ROS. O(2)(·-) and oxidative damage significantly increased in leaf margins before symptom expression, while topical antioxidant applications (Tiron, DPI) reduced symptoms in treated leaves, but not in the rest of the plant. Antioxidant enzyme activity was higher in Po, and increased more in response to EGTA treatments, and may contribute to mitigating oxidative damage and tipburn expression in this variety.

  10. Do non-native plant species affect the shape of productivity-diversity relationships?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drake, J.M.; Cleland, E.E.; Horner-Devine, M. C.; Fleishman, E.; Bowles, C.; Smith, M.D.; Carney, K.; Emery, S.; Gramling, J.; Vandermast, D.B.; Grace, J.B.

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between ecosystem processes and species richness is an active area of research and speculation. Both theoretical and experimental studies have been conducted in numerous ecosystems. One finding of these studies is that the shape of the relationship between productivity and species richness varies considerably among ecosystems and at different spatial scales, though little is known about the relative importance of physical and biological mechanisms causing this variation. Moreover, despite widespread concern about changes in species' global distributions, it remains unclear if and how such large-scale changes may affect this relationship. We present a new conceptual model of how invasive species might modulate relationships between primary production and species richness. We tested this model using long-term data on relationships between aboveground net primary production and species richness in six North American terrestrial ecosystems. We show that primary production and abundance of non-native species are both significant predictors of species richness, though we fail to detect effects of invasion extent on the shapes of the relationship between species richness and primary production.

  11. Soil contamination with olive mill wastes negatively affects microbial communities, invertebrates and plants.

    PubMed

    Hentati, Olfa; Oliveira, Vanessa; Sena, Clara; Bouji, Mohamed Seddik Mahmoud; Wali, Ahmed; Ksibi, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the ecotoxicological effects of olive mill waste (OMW) on soil habitat function. To this end, soil samples from OMW evaporating ponds (S1-S5) located at Agareb (Sfax, Tunisia) and a reference soil (R) were collected. The effects of OMW on the springtails Folsomia candida (F.c.), the earthworm species Eisenia fetida (E.f.), Enchytraeus crypticus (E.c.) reproduction and on the soil living microbial communities were investigated. E.f. reproduction and tomato growth assays were performed in the reference soil amended with 0.43 to 7.60 % (wOMW/wref-soil) mass ratios of dried OMW. Changes in microbial function diversity were explored using sole-carbon-source utilization profiles (BiologEcoPlates(®)). E.f. absolutely avoided (100 %) the most polluted soil (S4) while the F.c. moderately avoided (37.5 ± 7.5 %) the same soil. E.c. reproduction in S4 was significantly lower than in S1, S2, S3 and S5, and was the highest in R soil. Estimated effect concentration EC50 for juveniles' production by E.f., and for tomato fresh weight and chlorophyll content were 0.138, 0.6 and 1.13 %, respectively. Community level physiological profiles (CLPPs) were remarkably different in R and S4 and a higher similarity was observed between soils S1, S2, S3 and S5. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that differences between soil microbial functional diversity were mainly due to high polyphenol concentrations, while the salinity negatively affected E.c. reproduction in OMW contaminated soils. These results clearly reflect the high toxicity of dried OMW when added to agricultural soils, causing severe threats to terrestrial ecosystem functions and services provided by invertebrates and microbial communities.

  12. The movement and distribution of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) larvae on pea plants is affected by egg placement and flowering.

    PubMed

    Perkins, L E; Cribb, B W; Hanan, J; Zalucki, M P

    2010-10-01

    The distribution and movement of 1st instar Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae on whole garden pea (Pisum sativum L.) plants were determined in glasshouse trials. This economically-important herbivore attacks a wide variety of agricultural, horticultural and indigenous plants. To investigate the mechanisms underlying larval intra-plant movement, we used early-flowering and wild-type plant genotypes and placed eggs at different vertical heights within the plants, one egg per plant. Leaf water and nitrogen content and cuticle hardness were measured at the different plant heights. Of 92 individual larvae, 41% did not move from the node of eclosion, 49% moved upwards and 10% moved downwards with the distance moved being between zero and ten plant nodes. Larvae from eggs placed on the lower third of the plant left the natal leaf more often and moved further than larvae from eggs placed in the middle or upper thirds. The low nutritive value of leaves was the most likely explanation for more movement away from lower plant regions. Although larvae on flowering plants did not move further up or down than larvae on non-flowering plants, they more often departed the leaflet (within a leaf) where they eclosed. The final distribution of larvae was affected by plant genotype, with larvae on flowering plants found less often on leaflets and more often on stipules, tendrils and reproductive structures. Understanding intra-plant movement by herbivorous insects under natural conditions is important because such movement determines the value of economic loss to host crops. Knowing the behaviour underlying the spatial distribution of herbivores on plants will assist us to interpret field data and should lead to better informed pest management decisions.

  13. Patchy Distributions of Competitors Affect the Growth of a Clonal Plant When the Competitor Density Is High

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Wei; Huang, Lin; Dong, Bi-Cheng; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2013-01-01

    Environments are patchy in not only abiotic factors but also biotic ones. Many studies have examined effects of spatial heterogeneity in abiotic factors such as light, water and nutrients on the growth of clonal plants, but few have tested those in biotic factors. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to examine how patchy distributions of competitors affect the growth of a rhizomatous wetland plant Bolboschoenus planiculmis and whether such effects depend on the density of the competitors. We grew one ramet of B. planiculmis in the center of each of the experimental boxes without competitors (Schoenoplectus triqueter), with a homogeneous distribution of the competitors of low or high density, and with a patchy distribution of the competitors of low or high density. The presence of competitors markedly decreased the growth (biomass, number of ramets, number of tubers and rhizome length) of the B. planiculmis clones. When the density of the competitors was low, the growth of B. planiculmis did not differ significantly between the competitor patches and competitor-free patches. However, when the density of the competitors was high, the growth of B. planiculmis was significantly higher in the competitor-free patches than in the competitor patches. Therefore, B. planiculmis can respond to patchy distributions of competitors by placing more ramets in competition-free patches when the density of competitors is high, but cannot do so when the density of competitors is low. PMID:24205165

  14. Rho of Plant GTPase Signaling Regulates the Behavior of Arabidopsis Kinesin-13A to Establish Secondary Cell Wall Patterns[W

    PubMed Central

    Oda, Yoshihisa; Fukuda, Hiroo

    2013-01-01

    Plant cortical microtubule arrays determine the cell wall deposition pattern and proper cell shape and function. Although various microtubule-associated proteins regulate the cortical microtubule array, the mechanisms underlying marked rearrangement of cortical microtubules during xylem differentiation are not fully understood. Here, we show that local Rho of Plant (ROP) GTPase signaling targets an Arabidopsis thaliana kinesin-13 protein, Kinesin-13A, to cortical microtubules to establish distinct patterns of secondary cell wall formation in xylem cells. Kinesin-13A was preferentially localized with cortical microtubules in secondary cell wall pits, areas where cortical microtubules are depolymerized to prevent cell wall deposition. This localization of Kinesin-13A required the presence of the activated ROP GTPase, MICROTUBULE DEPLETION DOMAIN1 (MIDD1) protein, and cortical microtubules. Knockdown of Kinesin-13A resulted in the formation of smaller secondary wall pits, while overexpression of Kinesin-13A enlarged their surface area. Kinesin-13A alone could depolymerize microtubules in vitro; however, both MIDD1 and Kinesin-13A were required for the depolymerization of cortical microtubules in vivo. These results indicate that Kinesin-13A regulates the formation of secondary wall pits by promoting cortical microtubule depolymerization via the ROP-MIDD1 pathway. PMID:24280391

  15. Red:far-red light conditions affect the emission of volatile organic compounds from barley (Hordeum vulgare), leading to altered biomass allocation in neighbouring plants

    PubMed Central

    Kegge, Wouter; Ninkovic, Velemir; Glinwood, Robert; Welschen, Rob A. M.; Voesenek, Laurentius A. C. J.; Pierik, Ronald

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play various roles in plant–plant interactions, and constitutively produced VOCs might act as a cue to sense neighbouring plants. Previous studies have shown that VOCs emitted from the barley (Hordeum vulgare) cultivar ‘Alva’ cause changes in biomass allocation in plants of the cultivar ‘Kara’. Other studies have shown that shading and the low red:far-red (R:FR) conditions that prevail at high plant densities can reduce the quantity and alter the composition of the VOCs emitted by Arabidopsis thaliana, but whether this affects plant–plant signalling remains unknown. This study therefore examines the effects of far-red light enrichment on VOC emissions and plant–plant signalling between ‘Alva’ and ‘Kara’. Methods The proximity of neighbouring plants was mimicked by supplemental far-red light treatment of VOC emitter plants of barley grown in growth chambers. Volatiles emitted by ‘Alva’ under control and far-red light-enriched conditions were analysed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). ‘Kara’ plants were exposed to the VOC blend emitted by the ‘Alva’ plants that were subjected to either of the light treatments. Dry matter partitioning, leaf area, stem and total root length were determined for ‘Kara’ plants exposed to ‘Alva’ VOCs, and also for ‘Alva’ plants exposed to either control or far-red-enriched light treatments. Key Results Total VOC emissions by ‘Alva’ were reduced under low R:FR conditions compared with control light conditions, although individual volatile compounds were found to be either suppressed, induced or not affected by R:FR. The altered composition of the VOC blend emitted by ‘Alva’ plants exposed to low R:FR was found to affect carbon allocation in receiver plants of ‘Kara’. Conclusions The results indicate that changes in R:FR light conditions influence the emissions of VOCs in barley, and that these altered emissions